Saturday, February 04, 2012

Romans, Recitations, and the Dawn of a New Day!

When Mrs. Penny assigned the boys history recitation for January, I was tempted to email her and say, "No, thank you."  She assigned Romans 1: 18-23, 25 in the New King James Version.  Talk about a difficult passage!  And, my first thought was that Joshua would not even understand the passage, so why make him memorize it.  Our co-op believes that even though the kids have teachers on Fridays, you as the parent are the ultimate teacher, so we have the say so of what assignments we desire to do or not do.  So far, we have done everything assigned, but I love that we have the freedom to say no if we would like.

The first few days of January as we began memorizing Romans I was shocked at how much longer it was taking Joshua to memorize!  In Bible at the same time he was memorizing Mary's song, and it flowed easily from his lips, but not Romans.  I explained over and over again the meaning of each verse, but it didn't seem to help.  It was a slow go.  I almost gave up, but we kept chipping away at it a little each day. And, at the same time we spent several hours each day reading Greek myths (insert gag!) and Greek history.  And, by the third week in January one afternoon something clicked and everything changed...

It was one of those moments where you are overwhelmed by His presence and His wisdom and His giving of a perfect teachable moment...

Joshua and I were alone in the kitchen working on Romans.  We had recently finished up our reading of the Greek Myths and had just begun Homer (which really is just more of the same ~ insert second gag!).  And, it hit me like a ton of bricks ~ the light in my little mind came on!  Suddenly I understood why Penny chose this passage in Romans for the children to memorize!  It all came together and made sense, and I couldn't wait to share it with Joshua!  So, I said...

"Joshua, do you get it?  Don't you see?  Who did Paul write Romans to?  The Romans!  And, who did the Romans worship???  Many of them worshipped the same god's as the Greeks ~ just changing their names a bit.  We've studied that!  Now think about it!  Paul is talking to people who live in the city of that day and time ~ somewhat like Athens ~ with all the philosophers and "smart" people who thought they had everything all figured out, right?  'Professing to be wise, they became fools...'  This is what Paul is talking about here.  Think about all the Greek myths we have read, all the crazy gods and goddesses.  Did they act like our God?  Did they behave like Christ?  No!  They were angry, vengeful, jealous, covetous, unfaithful, deceitful, you name it!  So, what did the Greeks do?  They 'changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man!'  Think about it Joshua!  Think about the statue of Athena in the Parthenon in Athens.  Think of Zeus!  Their gods are just glorified incorruptible men just like Paul talks about in your recitation!  They 'exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator!'"

Then we took a moment and read through the entire passage in light of all we had studied over the past month in Greek history, and for once the entire passage took on a new significance!  We took on the cultural baggage of that time in history because we were knee deep in historical facts from around the same period of time, and it made all the difference.  We were both excited, and the passage with new meaning, seemed to come so much easier now!  It was one of those moments where I love what I do even if it is sooo hard some days!

As I shared all this with Erik that evening, I was reminded of something one of the mothers told me earlier that year.  At the beginning of the school year, we had a parent get together where our history guru at Excelsior took us through all that our kids would be learning in history this year, step by step.  We sat and listened for several hours as Shelley walked us from creation through the fall of Rome.  During one of our breaks, I stood in the kitchen talking to Misty, another mom who has high school age kids and has taught her children through the four year cycle of history two full times already.  She said something beautiful that I will never forget, something that has come back to me over and over and over during the past few months.  She said....

"Erin, the first time I studied Antiquity with the kids I hated it!  I remember wanting to take the books and throw them on the floor and stomp on them.  I wanted to quit reading them, to put them away!  They are so dark.  I kept thinking, 'Why am I reading this to them?' But, Erin, in the middle of the dark night when you think you can't take it anymore, the Roman empire comes...

and Christ is the dawn of a new day...

I saw it like never before the first time I studied ancient times with the kids!  How dark the world was, and then here comes Christ!  And, you see how He changes history!  It is truly beautiful to experience Christ this way!  It almost makes it worth all the dark things you have to study to get there!!"

I ran to my seat that day, and before the next set of lectures began I wrote Misty's words in my notes!  I thought she put it so eloquently, and I couldn't wait to understand what she meant!  And, now here I am  studying the darkness of foolish men, and my heart is longing for Christ's light to shine into history!

Christ is the center ~ the dawn of a new day!!


2 comments:

Sunshine said...

SO SO good. I love that. Thank you for sharing those words. Sunshine

Tyna said...

Fantastic! I love it when something big like this 'clicks'!!

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Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.

 

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