Fun and Games Again?

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

  • Revelation 22:12-13

“From Start to Finish”

“Read these ‘beginnings’ and ‘endings’ and decide what event is being described.  Choose your answers from the list given here.  Write the numbers of your answer in the answer column.  Use each event one time.”

  1. Birth of John the Baptist
  2. Creation
  3. Earthquake
  4. Jesus’ first miracle
  5. Last Supper
  6. Lord’s Prayer
  7. Red Sea Crossing
  8. Sermon on the Mount
  9. Ten Commandments
  10. Ten Plagues
BeginningsEndingsAnswer
Our Father, (Matthew 6:9)The glory, for ever, Amen.
Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3)A parable (A house built on a rock).
A Chariot Chase (Exodus 14:6)An army drowned.
There was light. (Genesis 1:3)A day of rest.
Marriage in Cana (John 2:1)Water turned into wine.
A Passover feast (Matthew 26:17)A betrayer was revealed.
Water turned to blood (Exodus7:20)Death of the first born.
Paul and Silas in prison (Acts 16:23)The jailer’s family was baptized.
A priest became speechless (Luke 1:20)A prophet was born.
Thou shalt have no other gods (Exodus 20:3)Thou shalt not covet …
  • Joy MacKenzie and Shirley Bledsoe, The Big Book of Bible Games and Puzzles

How does the Scripture above tie into the quiz?  The quiz is about beginnings and endings in the Bible, but Jesus refers to Himself as the beginning and the end.  Saying that He is the Alpha and Omega just means the beginning and the end of the Greek alphabet, and of course, the First and the Last are synonymous.  As in many times before, Jesus says the same thing three times.  The question is “Are we listening?”

I hope this Sunday school quiz is a little easier than last week, but recently I wrote about how teaching the Bible stories without context might be nice, but is it effective for a young Christian?  With the Bible references given above, these are quit simple, but maybe not for a younger audience or one that has never read the Bible.

Let’s give the answers one at a time.

Number 6, The Lord’s Prayer – While we should have a relationship with God that goes far beyond a rote prayer, this prayer was given to His disciples by Jesus.  It follows the ACTS model, Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  Note that Jesus taught His disciples to only supplicate for what they needed that day.  This teaches us to not get greedy, but it also teaches us to not look too far ahead.  The Apostle Paul taught the Lord’s Prayer a little differently in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:  Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Number 8, Sermon on the Mount – There is so much contained in these three chapters of Matthew.  The fulfillment of the Old Testament Law is revealed.  Yes, Jesus is the Christ, and He is preaching.  He is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.  But the Old Testament may give many that the idea of worshipping and praising God is done by following the letter of many rules.  No.  God wants a relationship with us, Creator and created, loving one another.  You can find that concept in the Old Testament, but Jesus’ sermon states it clearly.

Number 7, Red Sea Crossing – In reading the Old Testament, especially Exodus through Joshua, you see the people of Israel being reminded of their escape from Egypt.  The people had to be reminded repeatedly.  In this final blow against Pharaoh, Pharaoh’s army is drowned and now the people of Israel have a large body of water between them and Egypt.  Any attempts for Egypt to recapture their slaves is over.  It’s like anything else in life; God reigns supreme.  God can conquer anything, but sometimes, we must be reminded.

Number 2, Creation – Madame Curie may have postulated that the earth was millions of years old about 100 years ago, but she was looking at uranium decay to form lead, and she made some assumptions, some not being true.  The non-believers went with the idea and turned science on its ear, claiming the Creation story to be a myth, told by unscientific minds.  Thus, to believe in Creation, one was made to look like a fool.  Yet, I wrote recently (link here) about the RATE Team and their examination of the other half of the decay of uranium to form lead, the existence of helium that should long be gone by diffusion if the samples are millions of years old, thus providing only one of many proofs that the earth is not that old, and within scientific error of precisely as the Bible shows.  Is belief in the Creation narrative necessary for salvation?  No, but it is necessary to believe in a God that can and did create this present world and is still sovereign today.  And if we start disbelieving in a little, we open the door for more disbelief.  Having an all powerful God that created the universe is as much a part of Christian foundation as is the fact that this all powerful God loves us.

Number 4, Jesus’ First Miracle – Okay, this is Jesus’ first recorded miracle.  We have no idea what went on after Jesus was ‘lost’ in the Temple and His ministry started.  Jesus could have done a few things in private to give His mother Mary a reason to ask for Jesus’ help.  But that being said, this is the first time we see Jesus as something more than a good preacher.  Jesus is the Son of God.  We must not lose sight of that.

Number 5, Last Supper – Would the Last Supper be something to repeat as a ceremony in remembrance of Jesus without Jesus telling us to do this in remembrance of Him?  Does the question need answering?  Jesus said to do this, and when we do it, we must remember the total anguish and despair that was upon Him as He knew that His time was come.  Yes, He wanted the cup to pass from Him, but He knew the need for following through was even greater, and part of that anguish that He went through was my sins were heaped upon His shoulders, and yours, too.  Celebration of the Lord’s Supper should never be a trivial thing.

Number 10, Ten Plagues – We had the crossing of the Red Sea at number 7 earlier.  The ten plagues of Egypt is near the beginning of the story of the delivery of the people of Israel from bondage in Egypt.  It shows God’s power over the things that Egypt worshipped, and the final plague led to the institution of the Passover.  Jesus was crucified at the time of Passover, the perfect sacrifice, and Jesus is the Son of God, the only one and thus the first born.  It also says that to free us from the bondage of our own sin, it sometimes must take time to show that God is more powerful or more important than each of the things that we worship – in other words, distract us from worshipping God.  (I feel like this might be a post, in and of itself…)

Number 3, Earthquake – In looking at the ten events to match with the ten beginnings and endings, “Earthquake” stumped me, but once I read Paul and Silas in prison, I had to laugh.  That mini prayer of asking for illumination to figure out something that did not come to mind, came to mind.  But this miracle shows that God did not stop His miracles with Jesus, or even with the eleven disciples who became the first Apostles.  God is powerful and He can be counted upon to provide you with strength in all your hardships.

Number 1, Birth of John the Baptist – John the Baptist is the voice in the wilderness crying “prepare the way of the Lord.”  This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3, but the story of Zechariah is also important.  When God told him that his wife would produce a son, Zechariah could not believe it.  Thus he was made mute until he wrote on a piece of paper that the boy’s name is John.  Then Zechariah was singing a song.  We can each have our moments of doubt.  We can look upon God’s promises incredulously and think, ‘maybe someone else, but me?’  Yes, you.  Do not doubt.  We have too many mute Christians these days.  (I feel another post starting to germinate…)

Number 9, Ten Commandments – There are a lot more rules than just those ten.  But then the Pharisees trumped God with additional rules of their own.  Some think that the Ten Commandments are outdated and every one of them is flawed in one way or another.  But they are foundational.  Jesus taught us about some of these commandments in the Sermon on the Mount, about Adultery, Murder, and Telling the Truth.  The same deconstructing and reconstructing can be applied to all Ten Commandments to change them from a “Thou shalt” into a relational aspect that goes deeper than just a few rules to follow.  Jesus would be happy if we followed the relational aspects of those ten rules, but Jesus wants a relationship with each of us, first and foremost.  That’s what He was teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, to go beyond the rules, and never think of those rules as outdated.

I have a suggestion if you use this quiz with your young learners.  Having the quiz as written is great for the younger children, those that can read and look up the Bible stories for themselves.  But, leaving off the Bible references makes it a little more challenging for older children.  Then, for the more mature Bible students, leave off the table altogether and just list the ten events.  The question then can be what is the Bible reference that backs up these ten events and what is the beginning and ending of these events?

I wish you not only the gift of Biblical knowledge, but the meaning of that knowledge and how that affects us in our journey of faith.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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