Thursday, October 30, 2008


I was teaching some nine-year-olds about the Beatitudes, specifically Matthew 5:15 Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

The point to be made was the importance of being a good example. I had to give them some background on the use of candles as a source of light and not just a cake decoration. Then I had to explain the term “bushel” as basket that would hold the amount of grain a person could lift and carry. To get the attention of children who had already sat through an hour-long meeting at lunch time, I brought a birthday candle stuck down in a little paper cup, and a small basket to put over it. I had them the minute there was flame. I gently placed the little basket over the candle began to expound. I realized I had their total attention. “Wow,” I thought, “I am really getting my message across.” Then I could smell something burning and saw puffs of smoke coming from the basket. The lecture stopped and I lifted the basket which was now taking on a toasted nature. While seven children watched in amazement I blew out the candle and waved the basket until the smoldering stopped. Then I segued into how a city on a hill cannot be hid. The class was still focused on the candle. “You are not supposed to set things on fire in the church.” one said. “You are right," I agreed, “But I bet you will remember not to put your candle under a bushel!” The scriptures are true. And the direction given us to not expand on what is in the lesson manual is true too.

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