"There were twelve disciples Jesus called to help Him..."
Almost every Sunday this summer, we learned about two new disciples of Jesus from the Bible. We learned their names and professions, their nicknames, what they did in the Bible, and talked about what they might have looked like.
"Simon-Peter, Andrew, James' brother, John, Philip, Thomas, Matthew..."
More importantly, though, we learned what the word "disciple" means, and how we can be disciples of Jesus, too.
"James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon, Judas, and Bartholomew..."
Throughout the summer, we filled up a seascape with fish (since so many of the disciples were fishermen before they followed Jesus), and on the fish were written ideas of how we can follow God and be His disciples.
"He has called us, too; He has called us, too..."
Some of the ideas on the fish were "read my Bible," "be kind to other kids at school," "help Pastor Rebecca at church," "listen to my mom and dad," and the list goes on. The children came up with great ways that they can practice following God's instructions as laid out in the Bible.
"We are His disciples, I am one and you!"
We had so much fun colouring pictures of the disciples and playing memory games to help us learn all their names. While helping the children learn more about what discipleship means, it was a good lesson for me (their teacher) also. I was thinking throughout the week about each disciple, what they got right and what they had trouble understanding. I think many of us are the same way; we try so hard to be good disciples and follow God's will and His law, but of course we don't always measure up. Thinking and praying about the act of being a devoted follower of God is the first step to being a better disciple--and therefore a more kind, patient, loving, strong, faithful, joyful, peaceful human being out in the world.
I've attached a fun version of the 12 Disciples song we learned this summer; give it a listen and I pray that the silly ending brings you joy and a renewed longing for being Jesus' devoted disciple!