The next couple of nights Athanasia is out of town so I am staying with the boys.
When I had that job as a pump and compressor mechanic a couple of years ago I was too tired to go for the nighttime walks the boys loved. When I was selling cars I was always working at night. So we didn't get to do the walks. (Maybe, you remember me writing about them over the years?) Well, tonight, after supper, when Basil and Anselm had cleared the table and washed the dishes, we went on one of our night time walks again. Much FUN! Some flowers are blooming. Snap dragons, cherry trees, tulip trees, but not the jasmine or the honeysuckle. We walked around several blocks of the Willow Glen neighbor hood. Came across a giant cork oak. That was neat. The boy enjoyed feeling the bark. They swung on all the rope swings their neighbors have hanging on threes in their front yards. We looked at stars. Our old friends Orion, the dogs, and the twins were up in the sky.
After we got home I thought it would be nice to read some Bible to them. I thought I'd read that story in II Kings where God gets angry at the Syrians for saying he was a hill god but not a valley god. I thinks it's one of the funniest stories in the Bible. It is totally hilarious. But, I thought, I should do a recap of the OT from creation up to that point so they would know where this story fits in to the history.
So we started with Creation and Noah and went through the call of Abram, his name change to Abraham, how he had faith that all that land would be his even though he died only owning Sarah's burial plot. We covered Joseph, and Moses, and Jericho and Rahab, and then skipped all the Judges between Joshua and Samuel. The boys were surprised when Israel said they wanted "a king like the nations around us" instead of wanting God for their King. And we skimmed over Saul, the witch of Endor, David, Solomon, the Civil War, and eventually made it to the Story of Naaman.
There I stopped and opened the Bible and read to them. I don't know why, and I wouldn't say it was God prompting me, but I did stop there. And as I was reading (and I have to say to the guys who edited this part of the Bible, what is up with all the pronouns? It was hard enough for me to keep straight who was saying what to whom, but poor Basil was totally lost until I broke it down for him.) the boys noticed something: Baptism is the easy thing God asks of us. Anselm said, "Yeah, God makes it so easy I didn't even have to do it, the priest just did it to me!"
It didn't stop there. It was like a switch in them had been flipped on and they saw the connection between Melchezadick and Communion and giving thanks. And they saw the connection between Rahab's scarlet cord and the blood on the doors at Passover, and that God didn't just use the Virgin Mary to be his mother but had used Rahab, "the opposite of a virgin" as Anselm explained to Basil what a prostitute is, to be one of his ancestors. And then Basil asked, "are any of these people our ancestors?" I said, Noah and Adam . "What about Abraham, is he my ancestor?" I said, "Yes. God makes all Christians children of Abraham. He is our father in the faith".
Basil said, " What? That doesn't make sense." and gave me a look like I wasn't being honest with him. But Anselm said, "It's because of baptism! 'Whosoever has been baptised into Christ has put on Christ' and because Jesus is Abraham's descendant we are all Abraham's descendants!"
Being a dad is the most fun thing in the world. I can not describe how wonderful it is to hear my sons talking like this.
One thing I noticed in our little tour through the OT tonight is how people of God turn down money. Abraham would not split the spoils of war with the king of Sodom, and Elisha would not accept payment for healing Naaman. It reminded me of the Didache, wherein the Apostles taught that if a prophet says "give me money", the Church should just send him on his way. And I told the boys about Benny Hinn, who grew up in the Orthodox Church but became one of those lying prophets who just takes money from people. I reminded the boys that just because they are growing up Orthodox Christians doesn't mean they can't leave the Church, that every day they must cling to Jesus. Oh, I hope they do.
I never did make it to the story I had planned on reading to them but that's okay. It was a good night just the way it was.
14 hours ago