Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Little Lambs Nativity

While we have several Nativity scenes in our home during Christmas, this one is by far my favorite. Here's the story...

When Rachel turned two years old, she was placed in a very special Sunday school class. I remember hearing parents talking about how they had hoped their child would be chosen for this very special class. The class was known as the Little Lambs. The teachers of the Little Lambs were Mrs. Linda and Mr. Jim. Now, I don't know if you know anything about teaching two-year olds, but let's just say it can be challenging. So imagine a room filled with two-year olds.

I was amazed week after week after week how this amazing couple taught Sunday school. They did not give these kids a toy box filled with toys to entertain them for an hour, they taught them a Sunday school lesson and had a host of activities from the moment they walked in until the moment we picked them up. Every single week. And they heard the Gospel message every single week.

You will notice below there are twelve wooden blocks. The first block was given to a child to complete during their first month in attendance. On each subsequent month, another block was given to the child until, at the end of the year, each child had a complete Nativity set. What you do not see here is the wooden apple basket the Nativity set came in nor the back of each block which contains a unique scripture verse.

Each wooden block has a hand drawn picture adhered to it which was then painted by the child (or had cotton balls glued to create a lamb, etc.). Yes, uniquely created by the hands of a two-year old child. Isn't it amazing?

Isn't the little bundle of straw adorable?

The Fruit of the Spirit as taught to a two-year old

And there's Rachel! She's represented on the "Salvation" block.

Look how sweetly baby Jesus is covered in cloth and there's Joseph with his curly black beard!

Even the donkey has a beautiful warm blanket.

I have taught Sunday school many years, but I have never seen anything quite like this class. Mrs. Linda and Mr. Jim loved and prayed for these kids as if they were their very own. I remember when Rachel informed me that someday if she had a little girl she would name her Linda. Rachel received Christ when she was days away from turning three years old. How can a three-year old receive Christ? Ask Rachel. She vividly remembers this time in her life. Certainly God used the faithful witness of Mrs. Linda and Mr. Jim to influence the life of our little girl.

Now I don't remember how this came to be, but I entered Mrs. Linda and Mr. Jim into a national Sunday school teacher of the year award. I simply wrote a letter explaining why they were so special and the impact they were having on the youngest of children. I remember when I received the phone call from the organization telling me they had been chosen as one of the top ten Sunday school teachers in the country! The church surprised them with a special celebration and they were honored with a beautiful award, surrounded by a classroom filled with two-year olds. I am sure this celebration pales in comparison to the celebration that will take place in Heaven!

Did I mention that at Easter each child was sent home with a container which held a Monarch butterfly chrysalis? Mmmm hmmm. New Life explained to a two-year old in a way that would never be forgotten.

All these years later, we still correspond at Christmastime and Rachel always receives a birthday card from Mrs. Linda and Mr. Jim. All of their children are now grown and married and they even have grandchildren of their own!

God bless Mrs. Linda and Mr. Jim. May their legacy live on in future generations!

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. Deuteronomy 7:9

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