Here in Jackson, MN we still have Release Time. Kids in grades 3, 4 and 5 have the option of being “released” from school to head to the church of their choice for Bible classes. Parents fill out a short form, at the beginning of the school year, telling the school if they want their child “released” and what church they are going to. This year I have 3 fourth graders and 2 fifth graders. They are an energetic bunch (one of my fourth graders never and I mean never stopped moving).
Anyway…this first half of the year we are talking about the 10 Commandments and today was Commandment #2…”Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain“. We discussed names and what it means to honor God’s name. We talked about swearing and how that effects others. We closed by talking about forgiveness and that because God forgives us, we ought to honor God by honoring God’s name.
Before the kids were “released” back to school to catch the bus we closed with prayer. I asked them what they wanted to pray for. They wanted to thank God for the beautiful day, one asked to pray for her little brother to continue healing and one asked to pray for her kittens. Then one of them said, “Pray that God forgives us of our sins.” As a pastor…it’s hard to describe what that means to hear one of your 4th graders say that.
I’m not sure what they are taking away from class today, but it sounds like at least one of them understands that God forgives them through Jesus Christ. What more can one hope for?