Herald Journal Columns
December 18, 2006, Herald Journal

You are right


One day a parochial school teacher brought to school a picture, a book, and a candle in a votive cup.

This being the fourth grade class she thought they may absorb more by showing them an article of what she wanted them to learn, instead of lecturing them.

The class was very quiet as she was arranging her items on the table.

The teacher held up the picture and questioned, “Who is this person?”

A little boy raised his hand and answered, “His name is Jesus.”

The teacher said, “You’re right.” The teacher went to the next raised hand.

A little girl said in a quiet voice, “He was born in a manger many years ago, and everybody came to see him because he was a special baby.”

The teacher said, “You’re right.”

Another student almost leapt out of his desk saying, “Jesus’ picture is hanging on one of the walls in my home, and when we go to church on Sunday I see him in church.”

“Where do you see him in church?” The teacher questioned.

The little boy replied with confidence, “I see him in front of church nailed to a cross. He died for everyone’s sins, and he loves all of us even when we’re naughty. He loves little kids like me, and moms, and dads, even grandpas and grandmas.”

“You’re right.”

A little girl started to giggle and anxiously raised her hand, “At meal time, bedtime, and when I go to church I fold my hands and so does the rest of my family and we pray to him.”

The teacher said, “You’re right.” The teacher looked at the picture and continued, “This is a picture of Jesus and Jesus did die for all of us on the cross for our sins because he loved us.

If we do wrong he will forgive us. He’s with us all and watching over us and guiding us to be good people.”

Next the teacher held up a black book and asked, “What is the name of this book and why should we read it?”

A little boy replied, “I have one of those books in my home. My mom and dad read it all the time. It’s the Bible. My mom and dad like it.”

A little girl, in a spirited voice, said, “We read from it at Christmas time. You know, the story about baby Jesus. My dad says he’s the best gift we ever received at Christmas time.”

A little boy stood up, looked at the teacher and said, “That book is the best book you can ever read because it’s all truth. It tells us how to be good and what to do and what not to do. When we have little troubles and big troubles the Bible has answers for them.”

“You’re right. The Bible is a true book and it guides us every day to be good people. All we have to do is read it, and it will help us.”

The teacher then lit the candle in the votive cup. The teacher asked, “What does this candle mean to you?”

One little boy raised his hand and said, “I think this is what it means. When you are naughty, we seem to be in darkness and when we ask Jesus to forgive us we are in the light. The Bible is like when the sun is out. When we read it, our face starts to smile. It makes us happy. It’s like turning our bedroom light on so we can see where we’re going so we don’t trip and fall. The light shows us where to go so we are safe.”

A little girl raised her hand and spoke softly, “I think it means that we are to be the light of the world. We are supposed to get others excited about Jesus and his words from the Bible.”

A little boy walked up to the candle and put his hands near the flame and said, “Teacher, the candle makes me feel warm, like my blanket at home. My mom says Jesus puts his arms around us when things aren’t going so good and he walks with us. I’m thinking it’s Jesus trying to warm us.”

The teacher said, “The candle brings light to our path so we don’t stumble and fall. We are to stay on a good path and when we go off the path, that is when trouble is all around us and we don’t know what to do or where to turn.”

A little boy stood up and screamed, “I’ve been in a lot of trouble and that’s no fun at all! My mom and dad were sad, and mad, you should’ve heard them! After all that, I was a good boy. My prayers were really long that night. The next day I asked my mom and dad if they were still mad at me and they both hugged and held me so tight I could hardly breathe. They both had a big smile on their faces and told me they wanted me on the right path. They told me next to think about what I’m doing and if it doesn’t feel right not to do it.”

The teacher smiled at the class and then took a second look at one of the students. He had a pencil in his hand and a piece of paper with a drawing on it. The boy had a smile on his face as he stared at what he drew.

The teacher questioned the student. “The piece of paper in your hand, is it something you would like to share with the class?”

The boy gave cheerful smile and then stood up with his drawing. He brought it to the front of the class to show everyone. He then said, “In my home we have no picture of Jesus, we have no Bible, and we have no candles. This picture that I drew will be hung on the refrigerator. I drew a picture of Jesus, the Bible, and a candle. When my mom and dad ask me what I drew I will tell them. I will also tell what all of the pictures mean.”

The teacher paused and said to the student, “Very good, but I have one more thing I would like to see added to your sheet.”

The student agreed and got his pencil out and wrote what the teacher said, “In the darkness of our world, we have many more candles to light.”

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