Earlier this week I got an email from the children’s pastor at our church letting us know that both of the kindergarten class teachers were going to be away for the weekend so she needed a couple of parents to step up and take their place. I quickly got my husband on board, and he let her know that we would team teach the class this week. She sent the curriculum right away, but being me, I didn’t look at it until last night. I grew up in the church with Sunday School every week, church camp and Vacation Bible School every summer, Bible stories at bedtime…I was confident that I had this covered. What was it going to be? Noah and the Ark? Daniel and the Lions? David and Goliath? Maybe a good old parable, some walking on the water?
The lesson was about Boaz and Ruth.
Now I know Ruth and Naomi and understand the importance of the women in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, but I couldn’t remember the story of Boaz. The materials seemed a little weak and what I found online sounded like a bit much for a room full of kindergarten kids. It sounded more like a Lifetime Movie then a story to share with five year olds. The men die, the women are alone, they have no food, and then one of them marries a cousin to survive? Before anyone attacks me in the comments, I know that there is far more to the story. But I struggled last night to find the best take-away for the kids.
The materials prompted me to talk to the kids about being happy helpers and focus on Ruth helping Naomi by harvesting grain in Boaz’s fields and on Boaz helping Ruth by allowing her to do so and providing water for her to drink. But I think there was something far more important in the story. I’m one of those frustrating people who tries to find answers to the question why. Why is this happening? Why am I being asked to make this choice? Why is this person in my life? Recently I’ve decided that someone was sent to be in my life so that we could help each other grow and become better people. I think that the lesson this morning was that God sent Boaz because Ruth needed him. She needed him for support, she needed him to survive, she needed him to live the life God intended for her. The kids walked away from today’s lesson with a basket coloring page covered in glue and construction paper squares of “grain.” They learned the Bible verse: “Be kind and loving to each other.” (Ephesians 4:32). And I walked away with a reminder that I have exactly what I need.