Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Story 1, "Pandora's Box"
Preparation for Activity
- Re-acquaint yourself with the story of Pandora's box.
- Photocopy Story 1, "Pandora's Box," one for each participant.
Description of Activity
Participants hear and discuss a story that explains how evil came to exist.
If you have time, ask youth to recall what they can of "Pandora's Box." Explain that it is an ancient Greek myth, one of many stories about the gods and goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus.
Before beginning the story, set the stage by explaining that Zeus was the ruler of the gods on Mount Olympus. Another god, Epimetheus, made animals to live on Earth. Then Zeus asked Prometheus, the brother of Epimetheus, to make humans. Things went well for a while, but then Prometheus thought that people were cold, and he stole some fire from Zeus to give them. That made the people happy, but it made Zeus furious. (Do not dwell on Prometheus, whose story will be central to a later session of Amazing Grace: Exploring Right and Wrong.)
Tell or read the story of Pandora and the box of evils. You could also ask for one or more volunteers to read the story or volunteers could pantomime the action of the story while you tell it. Use the version offered as Story 1, or any other version that you like. Note that some other versions speak of a jar instead of a box. You may wish to adjust them to allow for the presence of a box in Conundrum Corner.
After the story, take the sixth-grade wrongs out of the box and share them with the group. How do they compare to the troubles in the Pandora story? Does the group agree that each of the sixth-grade wrongs is common and important?
Have the group respond to questions like these:
- Do you think this story is really how sinning and other evils got started?
- If not, what is your explanation?
- Did a god create virtue and a devil create sin?
- How does this story of how evil came into the world compare with the story we heard last time about the Garden of Eden?
- What made Pandora open the box? Do you agree that it was a combination of temptation and curiosity? We talked about temptation in Session 1. What about curiosity? Is curiosity a sin? Is it bad or good?
- Does the existence of sin and evil in the world help explain why religion and faith exist? If there were no bad things to think about, would people need hope or faith? Or would everybody just sit around being happy?