This pandemic has pulled back the veil of our cliché-ridden faith and reminded us of what most of the rest of the world knows: life is hard, circumstances are unjust, children die, and simplistic religion is valueless.
With households becoming schools and parents and other primary caregivers managing unprecedented challenges, making family life the primary locus of Christian education can feel like just one more overwhelming task. But it doesn’t need to be.
In the Western tradition, Advent is a season of anticipation and preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth and for his awaited return. Although liturgical scholars sometimes argue the point, Advent is commonly associated with purple as a penitential season. It is the ideal time for people and communities of faith to ponder how often we have denied Christ through our actions.
The church has the chance to return to the Sunday School Movement to uncover its passion and power to challenge culture and change lives. Returning to the roots of Sunday school compels us to boldness in trying new ways of sharing the gospel, in actions as much as—or even more than—in words.
Traditional efforts to literally scare the hell out of people can and have caused significant damage, especially to children.