You may or may not know this about me, but in real life I work with the children at my church.
Please don't get me wrong -- by “work”, I in no way mean “toil.”
In addition to teaching these amazing children of God, I get to play and laugh, pray and feast, and listen to and learn with and from "my kids".
And I get to share Jesus with them.
I teach the 5th grade Sunday school class this year, and God blessed me with all girls - six of them – a perfect number.
Last Sunday, we made Christmas cards for our shut-ins and I had the radio on a popular Christian station to listen to carols while we talked about why Jesus came to earth.
A commercial came on for a ministry to help those whose marriages are in trouble for a list of reasons. I wasn't really paying attention to the radio, but when one girl asked, “Miss Cathy, what's an affair?” I realized what the commercial had been talking about.
Part of me was angry with the “family friendly” station for allowing, in my opinion, a questionably family-friendly word, another part of me was realizing that these kids all surely know a friend whose parents have split up because of marital infidelity, but the biggest part of me was praying for the right words while continuing the conversation without any awkward, embarrassing pauses.
God was faithful (of course), and I managed to explain what an affair was without mentioning anything to do with birds or bees. They all understood and were sad, and after some discussion (which included someone asking, “Miss Cathy, have you had an affair”), a unanimous conclusion was reached that affairs were bad and the conversation moved on naturally.
Whew. Thank you God!
However, the part of me that was miffed at the radio station lingered and stewed in her own righteousness.
After we'd finished the lesson, made a couple dozen cards, and prayed, we still had about 5 or 10 minutes to fill. (Unheard of. I'm usually scrambling at the end--we tend to be long-winded.) I asked the girls if anyone had any questions or had something they wanted to talk about.
Conversation moved back to the Christmas story, and the same girl who asked what about the word “affair” told the class that Joseph was going to stone Mary, and that he actually had a stone in his hand but changed his mind.
I told her I didn't remember reading that part in the Bible, but I did see it in a movie once. Of course, all of the girls thought it was horrible that Joseph was going to stone her. I told them that he did have the RIGHT to put her to death – and then had to explain why. And we read the Joseph’s story in Matthew’s gospel.
And that part of me that was mad at the family-friendly radio station for allowing the word “affair” blushed.
Because my girls understood, REALLY "got", what an affair was, they grasped a bigger sense of why Mary being pregnant was such a big deal.
Wow! Joseph thought Mary had an affair! Until the angel appeared to Joseph and told him what was really going on.
And the angel's words to Joseph were our memory verse.
“She will have a Son,
and you are to name Him Jesus,
for he will save his people
from their sins.”
And that, my friends, is what I call full circle.
Was it a coincidence that we heard that commercial as we started our lesson?
Or was it a GOD-incidence?