I do not often publish the same post twice- but this week I remembered one from April 2010, and it seemed relevant to the Christmas season, so I thought I'd share it again...
I was covering an RE lesson. It was an introduction to Hinduism, and the idea of Brahman the Supreme Power. The plan instructed me to brainstorm the children about the idea of a "Job Description for the SP over the Earth- specifically noting what things the SP would control, and what things humans would control"
Here is what happened [my words are in red - stuff written on the board in blue]
THINGS THE SP WOULD CONTROLNo poverty, sickness, war or homelessnessEverything would be fairLeicester City would win every football match they played.
"Would this work?"
"No, Miss, because if LCFC won every time it would not be fair on other teams. To be fair every match would have to end in a draw"
"That's no good, Miss, you wouldn't bother to play then, if you knew you would never win"
"OK, we will forget football for a minute [if only some of them could!] and think about what the humans will be allowed to control"
THINGS HUMANS CAN CONTROLWhere they put their furniture.
"That's it? That is all you will allow them? Re-arranging the dining chairs round the table!"
"What if they vote for the wrong man - Germans chose Hitler to lead them in the 1930s and that ended in war."
"We cannot let them control anything then."
"That will make them into robots - is that a good idea?"
"I think that humans should be allowed to choose how they live their lives and control them."
"That's called Free Will"
"That is the best thing - let them choose for themselves"
Humans can have the Free Will to choose for themselves
"But just supposing you do let the humans have free will. You let them choose for themselves how they live. And they make the wrong choices - instead of ending hunger, they are greedy and take all the food. And they argue after a football match and have fights - or worse, two countries have a war with each other. If YOU are the Supreme Power, and you let humans have Free Will, and they make wrong choices like that, what are you going to do about it?"
There was a brief pause, then one boy said
"I'd go down there, Miss, and tell them"
And I just stood there - not knowing what to say next, with a lump in my throat. I so wanted to say "But He did - He did come down and tell us, and we didn't listen, we crucified Him"...but of course, I have to be a professional teacher, and I am not allowed to evangelise in class. And anyway this was meant to be an introduction to Hinduism. I just said
"That sounds like a good plan. Now let's move on to the next question..."
This past Christmas, I have wondered about that child - he will be a teenager now - and hope and pray that somebody, somewhere has told him that Christmas is all abut Immanuel, God with us...