Haere mai – nau mai o Te Whakakotahitanga o te Rāwhiti!
Starting out as usual with our songs and prayers – the children select their favourite prayers to read at the start of each class.
Today’s lesson for the older children was the last one of set 2, in Grade 2. By striving our utmost every day to follow God’s commandments and to put into action His teachings, we can show our faithfulness. Teachings and counsels such as daily prayer to sustain our souls; not speaking ill of others (backbiting); treating animals with kindness; learning a profession or trade… there are MANY things God wants us to do.
To not get overwhelmed, we can follow ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s counsel: kam kam, ruz beh ruz (little by little, day by day!) – it’s the effort that counts! 🙂 That way we don’t need to get discouraged by our own shortcomings, but can focus on the good things we do an do them better/more every day.
We practiced the quote for today’s lesson together first and then some of the children had a go at saying it off by heart already. Well done! If you’d like a copy of the booklet we use with all the quotes in it – you can download it here (pdf file).
Our story was another one about Hájí Muhammad – this time he’s the master marksman, out hunting birds. He happens to come upon a group of Bahá’ís who are on an outing with Bahá’u’lláh. Bahá’u’lláh asks him not to go and shoot innocent birds. But Hájí Muhammad forgets to follow this counsel and tries to shoot many a bird, small, big fast or slow – but he misses each time. Astonished he slowly realises, that Bahá’u’lláh had given him a direct command, not to kill innocent birds, which he had ignored.
The children then did some painting – to illustrate some of the commandments of God – kindness to animals, or learning a trade/profession…
We finished off our class with some drama exercises, improvisations and a game of bus-driver. Where all children stand in a row, hands on each others shoulder – the children in front close their eyes, the person in the back is the bus driver. He directs the bus, by gently signalling/tapping the left or right shoulder of the child in front, and the signal gets passed on, so the whole bus knows where to go. It’s a lot of fun!
Out of His infinite love, God has given us laws and teachings to live by. These laws and teachings are like lamps that illumine our path. Through their light, we are able to see how it is that God wants us to live. This was the inspiration to today’s craft in our class – colourful lamps! (made of simple glass jars, with bits of tissue paper glued all around them…)
I’m sure these beautiful creations will help the children remember our quote for today:
‘Observe My commandments, for the love of My beauty.’ – Bahá’u’llah
After finishing our lovely lamps – we read the story about Haji Muhammad who was a great example of joyful obedience, following Bahá’u’lláh’s instructions immediately. He was sent on a voyage by ship from Akka to Jeddah, but in his hurry to obey Bahá’u’lláh’s instructions, he forgot to ask, what he was supposed to do when he got there. He wasn’t perturbed at all, even when it got unusually stormy and many passengers were worried for their lives. Haji Muhammad trusted he would get to where he was sent and upon arriving in Jeddah heard two people speaking Persian (Haji Muhammad’s language too) and after approaching them, found out they were trying to find their way to Bahá’u’lláh’s presence. They had been imprisoned for being Baha’is for 10 years, and had just been released. This was their first journey to the Holy Land and needed assistance. Haji Muhammad now knew what his mission on this trip was – to help these two souls find their way to Akka and the presence of Bahá’u’lláh.
We then used some of the drama warm-up excercises – walking along our imaginary squares, stretching tall and melting into a little puddle of wax, like a candle. We also played another round of ‘FREEZE’ (see last weeks post) as it seems to be a favourite with the children. And to learn some more cooperative skills, we used another exercise, where children together have to create a shape the teacher calls out – circle, straight line, triangle, square, etc.without talking to each other.
We finished today’s class with further practicing of the unity prayer, that we have put to music now. We didn’t get a chance to record it today, hope to do so next time 🙂 It’s sounding really good!
This was the last class for this school term – the holidays start next weekend. We’ll take a break too and see you all back on Sunday 29 April, 10am to noon, as usual! Ka kite ano!