I know; it appears like I’ve been slacking off by not posting anything for a while. The truth is, however, I’ve recently been channeling my meager creative talents in other directions. Yes, it’s sad to admit, but I’ve fallen greatly in recent months, and now must resort to making children laugh with my animal noises, most notably, my cow “beller.”
I’ve always done a pretty impressive cow noise, if I may say so myself, and the sound is something I’ve used in Sunday school for years. Whenever the children sing “Away in a Manger” and get to the part “The cattle are lowing…” I let out a loud MOOOOO to emphasize the point, and then everyone giggles at my foolishness. My Pastor heard the sound several years ago and has been attempting to get me to utter “MOOOOO” upon command ever since.
We moved our Sunday school to Wednesday evenings this year and are calling it Church School instead. For a change of pace, Pastor Kathy purchased a cow puppet, asked some people to build a “barn stage,” and then asked me to become a character she named “Holy Cow.” I agreed, which means I’ve been writing the “children’s sermon” each week. The messages I’ve done are interactive with the children, and are delivered in the form of a dialog between Pastor Kathy and Holy Cow. It’s been fun and the sermons have been well received by the children so far. Here’s the one I wrote for tonight:
Holy Cow, Script 5 (10/19/11) Matthew 22:34–46
Leader: It sounds like the Holy Cow is in that barn somewhere!
HC: Hello leader, it sure is good to be here for another night of Church School at Augustana! I almost didn’t get to come tonight!
Leader: Why not?
HC: Well, my parents told me that I should never cross the street outside of the barn unless they said I could. But I accidently kicked my football across the street today, and I went over and got it. When I came back, my Mom had seen me from the window, and she was really upset! I don’t know why she got mad: There were no cars coming!
Leader: Well, Holy Cow, our parents know what’s best for us, and they make rules to keep us safe. Sometimes it seems like the rules are silly, but they are there for a reason, and we need to obey them. What are some rules that you kids have to follow at home? (Pauses for answers)
HC: That’s a lot of rules for kids to follow. Grownups are sure lucky that they don’t have to follow any rules!
Leader: Guess what, Holy Cow, grownups have rules to follow too! Can any of you kids think of any grownup rules? (Pause for answers) There are rules for how fast you can drive a car. There are rules for how many pets you can have in a house. There are rules for when stores can be open. There are even rules for when and where you can walk across streets.
HC: Yeah, I guess I’ve heard about some of those rules: I guess grownups have a lot of rules to follow too!
Leader: There are a lot of rules, and our leaders make them because they want to take care of us and keep us safe, just like parents want to keep their kids safe. Did you know Holy Cow, that there were rules back in Jesus’ time too?
HC: I think I would have liked the rules back then. Wasn’t one of the rules about people needing to eat lots of grapes? I really like grapes! Did you know that I like grapes, leader?
Leader: Yes, Holy Cow, I remember that you like grapes. I don’t think any of the rules were about needing to eat a lot of grapes, though. Some of the rules were about how to wash your hands. Some were about what foods you couldn’t eat. They even had rules about how many steps you could walk on Saturday.
HC: They had rules about how many steps you could walk? It sounds like they had a lot of rules back in Jesus’ time too!
Leader: They sure did! Did you know that some of the leaders tried to trick Jesus by asking him which rule was the most important? They thought all the rules were important, so no matter what Jesus said, they could say “See!! Jesus doesn’t know what He’s talking about.”
HC: That’s a rotten trick, Leader! What did Jesus tell them?
Leader: Jesus said there are only two rules that people need to follow!
HC: Only two? Oh boy, I bet Jesus got into lots of trouble for that!
Leader: No Jesus told them the first rule was “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind!” Then he said the second rule was “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
HC: Wow, those are really good rules. I want to try to follow those rules myself, but I don’t think I can. Will you say a prayer for us, leader, asking for help while we try to follow these rules?
Leader: (Offers a short prayer)
HC: Thank you leader! I’ll be back next week, but for now, I need to be MOOOving on!