Sunday we learned about other Diocesan youth events and elected two new students to the Youth Commission. Welcome Jocilyn Schmidt and Emerson Ross! We went to church at Grace Cathedral. Trevor Mahan and Jenny Kroeker read the scripture and Emerson Ross and Ian Boyd served as oblationers. After lunch, we finished our journey through Exodus, starting with the birth of Moses and continuing through the Exodus and the 40 years the Hebrews wandered in the desert, concluding with the death of Moses. Then, we had a speaker:
Why is God so angry in the Old Testament, but all nice and loving in the New Testament? The Rev. Kelly Demo
There are so many misunderstandings about the Bible! Like, “Why is God such a ‘jerk’ in the Old Testament?” We just reviewed all these stories about God killing people, sending plagues, etc.
That’s how people thought about all the Gods at that time. There were a bunch of Gods, and all of those Gods were jerks. If you were nice and did what they said, the God’s brought good things; but if you didn’t do what they said, bad things would happen. That was the general understanding of what a God was. Jesus comes along and kind of explains things a little bit better.
You need to see the whole arc of the entire story, from “in the beginning” to “amen” at the end of Revelation. It’s the story of God’s people (humanity) growing up. Think about it like a 2-year-old, when you tell a 2-year-old to not doing something, they usually do that! So, when Adam & Eve were given the garden of Eden and told not to eat the fruit from the one tree, they ate the fruit! When the 10 Commandments get here, we’re about 6, and we’re given basic rules to keep us safe (similar to don’t touch the stove, it’s hot; or look both ways before crossing the street). Then, there’s the prophets, these are our teenage years. Prophets says, “You’re doing this, if you don’t stop, these are the natural consequence that will happen. It’s your choice.” Jesus came, said you’re more grown up now, I expect more from you. The “eye for an eye” was for when you were little. You’re more mature now, you can handle, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Jesus has always been, always will be. He existed in the Old Testament, but you have to search for him kind of like “Where’s Waldo?” Jesus is in the Old Testament you just have to search for him in the stories. God was a jerk in the Old Testament because we were petulant children, and that was our understanding of him. God didn’t grow up between the Old Testament and the New Testament…we did.
So many of the misunderstandings about who/what Christian’s are, come out of the Old Testament understandings of a vengeful, wrathful God. God is a loving being who desperately wants to be in relationship with us. The Bible is a love letter from God.
[An aside, something Kelly learned recently: We close our eyes when we pray because all of our senses are present, and we don’t need our eyes anymore. Kind of like when we kiss someone we love.]
Students then could pick from one of five Biblical Workshops: (hint: ask your kid which workshop they went to and what they learned!)
- Real Law or Fake Law? Game and conversations about why these laws are in the Bible and what that means for us today ~Steven King (Room 203/205)
- Inheriting the Sins of our Fathers ~Kelly Demo (Parish Hall)
- Exodus: God’s call to each of us (with discussion on the movie!) ~Don Compier (Room 202)
- Studying Holy Scriptures for a Lifetime, how do you do it? (with drawing!) ~ Jeff Roper (Room 207)
- Women of Genesis & Exodus ~ Stephanie Jenkins (Bubb Room)
Then we had non-Biblical-workshops and the students could pick from:
- Paper Mache Crosses with Kitty and Teresa
- Arcade, Board & Card Games with Mari & Jillian
- Football, washers, or Frisbee with Megan & Mark
- “Life After High School” Stephanie Jenkins & John H., Tyler K., Sarah H., Ashley P.
- Music Practice with Alex, Sydney, Taylor
- Just Dance Wii with Drew T. & Rachel H.
Supper was taking longer to cook than expected, so the groups got to compete in a Cardboard Arcade Olympics while they waited. There was rock ‘em sock ‘em thumb wrestling, “Dan”ko (plinko made by the tribe of Dan), skee-ball, a fortune teller, marble putt-putt, a ball toss, and several more! (hint: ask your kid what cardboard arcade their tribe made!)
After supper youth could choose between watching Guardians of the Galaxy or The Lego Movie. Then we did compline with singing and went to bed!