Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Strangers in a Strange Land

My kids are at Vacation Bible School at the big fundamentalist church in town this week. We started going 7 years ago, 2 years before we were Chrismated. And the idea of not going to this extravaganza is incredibly unpopular in my house. Weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth. Every year, I wait for the phone call to come get them and the decree that we can never go back because we are just too different. My son told them they had a bad translation of the Bible last year - and he was probably just as tactful as he usually is. When I went to pick them up yesterday, my daughter came over to me during prayer time and said, "These prayers don't make any sense. They're just making stuff up as they go along. I'm not doing this." All right then.

It looks like the theme this year is the story of Moses, although the official theme is Cajun: Crocodile Dock. So far, this has been a great way to learn more about the Theotokos . . . at home. Yesterday, the kids spent the day learning about the Burning Bush (God is with us!). And when they got home, we talked about how the burning bush prefigured the Theotokos. Catherine has taken a picture of the burning bush from St. Catherine's monastery with her today to show to her crew. She also took her icon of St. Catherine that has a piece of the rock from the site of the burning bush. I asked her what an icon was for before she left so she would know what to say, just in case that whole idolatry thing came up. How do you prime an 8 year old for a theological debate with fundamentalists? It's not that fundamentalists don't understand veneration - it's that they don't understand worship and therefore, the distinction between the two is unclear. Maybe if we got them to understand that we don't do rock concerts for icons it would be a real a-ha moment.

Last night, we read ahead a little bit for the topic for today: the plagues of Egypt. Phoebe's kindergarten book says that "for some reason" Pharaoh decided to ignore Moses. "For some reason" my left foot. Over breakfast, we talked about how the crossing of the Red Sea on dry land also prefigured the Theotokos, and is the topic of the first Ode of Canons. We will have to see what the topic for tomorrow is.

Can we get a Russian Orthodox Vacation Bible School - PLEASE????? I've heard that Russians have children too, although it was just in a song by Sting in the '80s.