Thursday, January 16, 2020

Refections for Youth - Come and See

This week I am thinking about brains.  

Not like in a zombie - I wanna eat your brains kind - of way.      

I am thinking about how fascinating it is that we all learn in different ways. 

For example, when I am trying to learn to do something new, I can't just read the directions. I learn better when I see something done rather than just reading or being verbally told step-by-step directions. I have discovered that you can find a YouTube video to teach you how to do - well, virtually anything! 

I currently watching beginner videos to learn how to play the banjo. Yes, it is as scary as it sounds. Just ask my husband and my cats. 

 How do you learn best? 

There is a really interesting education theory about how people learn written by Howard Gardner that called Multiple Intelligence Theory. You may have heard someone say " I am a visual/spatial learner." or something similar. Gardner identified nine different "abilities" or potential categories that explain the ways people learn.  They include musical-rhythmic, visual-spatialverbal-linguisticlogical-mathematical, bodily-kinestheticinterpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic, and existential.  It's really interesting stuff and I encourage you to read more about it.  You can start here. 

It's been helpful for me to identify what categories I relate to the most. And of course, a person can be strong in more than one category.  If you are curious  - here is the link to a quiz that will help you identify yours. Give it a whirl!   Take the assessment quiz

ANYHOO, I am thinking about this because just like there are many ways that people learn things  - there are many ways that stories of Jesus are shared and different versions of those stories.  As we explored in our Christmas pageant this year, the Gospel writers often had different versions of the same story. 

This week's scripture from John tells the story of Jesus calling the first disciples. But - spoiler alert, it's a little different from the version you might remember most from Sunday school.  

Read John 1: 29-42
The passage starts with John the Baptist talking about Jesus. He sees Jesus coming toward him and says “He is the lamb of God. When I baptized him yesterday the Holy Spirit came and it was amazing!”
And later John was talking with two of his followers when they saw Jesus. And John said “ See him? He is the Lamb of God!”
So the two disciples followed Jesus. And when Jesus saw them he asked: “What are you looking for?”
And the disciples answered Jesus with their own question. “Where are you staying?’
And Jesus said, “Come and See.”
And so they went and they stayed with Jesus all day.  One of them was Andrew. And when he left Jesus he went to find his brother Simon and he said “We have found the Messiah, the one sent from God.’ According to John, Andrew and Simon became two of the first followers of Jesus.
So, most of us are more familiar with the other gospel’s version of how Jesus calls the disciples. In Mathew. Mark, and Luke, Jesus speaks and the disciples drop their fishing nets and come follow.
One thing is similar—Jesus says “Come and See”  - but the story in John takes a different path. The people in the story follow Jesus after hearing someone else talk about him. Andrew learns about Jesus by spending the day with him and then tells his brother Simon about him.

I think in this version, Andrew is a lot like me, He needs to see things to learn about them. 
The Bible reminds us that we. like John the Baptist, are called to share our faith and invite people to come and find out about Jesus.  But since we all learn in different ways, it's important for us not to just tell people - but to also show people about Jesus.
 Jesus gives us an example of this. He was not a teacher who just told us what to do—he showed us by his actions.
 I wonder how we can show others God’s love through our actions, too?
Things to think about: 

Based on what you understand about how you learn things - what are some creative ways that you can learn more about Jesus? 

What are some ways that you can show people about the love of God? 

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