I agreed to co-teach Sunday morning eighth-grade confirmation class. From now until mid-April it's a merry chase through half the catchism: the commandments, the Apostles' Creed, and the Lord's Prayer. The teacher's guide provides eight times as much activity as a sane, middle-aged adult could possibly want to tackle with 20-plus kids in 55 minutes. I could drink more coffee on Sunday mornings, but the result of that would not be pretty.
Still, this will be interesting, especially the commandments. How do they hook up with the grace and love of God that young teens need to experience? What's good about being shown your sin? And what are these sins in today's world. I spent this afternoon shopping for new pants--remembering the sabbath? How do you judge if someone purporting to speak for God is using God's name in truth or in vain?
I sat in on this morning's class, taught by the other teacher. A reality bath. Eighth graders are restless, wary, self-conscious, and oh, so very hard to engage. One young man suggested something was a metaphor for God, which led me to be hopeful--someone understands that God is more than the words in which we try to describe something both immanent and unknowable. Other kids searched for "right" answers--some for the ones the teacher was looking for, some for the ones that seemed right to them. Some wanted to be noticed. Some wanted to escape. They were all acutely aware of one another.
Yeah. I'm either gonna like this or be very frustrated.