The teach was from James 1:22-24. The passage where you look into a mirror, and if you walk away unchanged you are deceiving yourself.
The storyteller did a fantabulous job of using a square of green construction paper to act out having a piece of lettuce in her teeth, looking in the mirror, seeing the lettuce, and choosing to leave it there. The lesson was great, I totally got it and was even tearing up a little bit feeling convicted at the words she was saying.
BUT when I got back to my small group and placed a little compact mirror in the middle of our circle and asked, “so how does this mirror remind you of the story you just heard?”
“I didn’t understand what that story was about…”
My mind started whirring…how can I explain this in their language and at their level so that they will “get it”?
OK. So, you won this big award, and you’re on your way to the ceremony where you will have to go on stage AND you’re going to get your picture taken. You want to make sure you look your best, so you go into the bathroom and look in the mirror.
There’s a big, giant, gooey, green booger hanging from your left nostril. You see it, and it’s gross. Do you want other people to see you with that booger?
NO. Of course NOT! So you get a tissue, and get rid of it before you head out to your ceremony and get your picture taken.
Now, if YOU ever looked in the mirror, saw a giant disgusting booger hanging from your nose, would you CHOOSE to leave it there and go about your life? (They all shouted “ewww! No way! Gross! Of course not!”)
Well, why not? (Their replies: “That’s embarrassing You don’t want people to see you looking like that. Boogers are disgusting. No one wants to be seen with a booger hanging out of their nose. That’s just gross, Mrs. Jenna.”)
You’re exactly right. And now you’re starting to understand what this passage is talking about. If we want people to see us at our best, then we need to check ourselves in the mirror. The “mirror” is God’s Word. We have to be reading it to see what we’re supposed to look like, or how we’re supposed to be living.
If you read, “Do everything without complaining or arguing” (Phil 2:14) and groan, roll your eyes, and say, “but I don’t WANT to” when your mom asks you to do your homework…you are choosing to walk around with that big, ugly, gooey, green, nasty, slimy BOOGER hanging out of your nose.
My girls seemed to get it a little better than the lettuce analogy. And they were pretty grossed out at the thought of walking around with a crusty snot on their face.
Not exactly sure it’s parable material or that I’ll be invited to take a pulpit any time soon, but I think I was able to get the message across today. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be making a booger analogy in church…
I know I was convicted by today’s passage and lesson–the lettuce illustration got my attention, but the booger one just really took it home for me. And if I really take a hard look in the mirror, I’m pretty sure I’ve got some boogers I need to get rid of. You?