I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.
— John Newton
IN TODAY'S SESSION... This was the first session of Amazing Grace: Exploring Right and Wrong. Our story was "Adam and Eve," from the Hebrew scripture. We made our own Garden of Eden from pipe cleaners and talked about how this story poses one explanation for how sin came into the world. We took part in a game, Ethics Play, for the first time and used role-playing as a way to help decide what's right and wrong.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about...
- The situation your group explored in Ethics Play. What do your family members and friends say the Star should do?
- Where did your family members first hear the story of the Garden of Eden? What do they think about what it has to say about the origins of sin?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try...
- Watching a television show together and seeing what it tells you about right and wrong.
- Going through the family bookcases. Look at some stories everybody has read. What do they say about virtue? Are there any that have no sin in them at all?
MYSTERY AND ME
Welcome to Mystery and Me!
Everybody wonders about life's big questions, questions such as How did evil come into the world? Some people think the answers are clear because they are written in the bible or in some other source. Other people think that the answers remain hidden in mystery. We may never find perfect answers, but it is still important to search through the mystery, to understand as much about life as we possibly can. The Mystery and Me sections of Amazing Grace: Exploring Right and Wrong invite you do that exploring after every session.
One way to use Mystery and Me is to keep a journal on your thoughts in response to the question asked. The journal does not need to be fancy. It can be a notebook, a diary, or kept on your computer, or any other way you have of keeping notes for yourself. Writing helps some people think better. If you think it might be useful, try it. You do not need to bring your journal to our meetings or share it with anyone. Writing down thoughts does make them visible, however, so be careful of writing anything so personal that it could be embarrassing if someone else saw it.
Take some personal quiet time and think about the story.
- Why did God forbid the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge?
- Why do you think the serpent wanted Eve to eat the fruit?
- What temptations do you have to overcome in your life?
A FAMILY RITUAL
Find a time each day when you can talk about the right and wrong you have experienced. Maybe late afternoon or a mealtime will work. Did you each do something good you want to share? Is there something you wish you had not done that you need to talk about? How can you make tomorrow a better day?
A FAMILY GAME
Virtue Scavenger Hunt. Have each person in the family go around and put a marker somewhere to show a virtuous thing another family member has done. You might use colored sticky notes or paper for your markers. The individuals placing the markers can initial them. What will you find? Maybe it is a stack of clean dishes that somebody washed without being asked; maybe it is homework completed early. It might even be a flyer from an outside organization one of your family members belongs to that does good things.
Talk about a family rule and discover the reasons for it. Maybe it is the bedtime rule. Why that time? Why not fifteen minutes later? Why not earlier? Is there a good reason for the rule and does everybody agree with it? Should you talk about it more?