Loading

The prophets

Cheryl Dickow

Daniel, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Isaiah by il Baciccio. Pendentive of the dome of the Gesù, Rome. Credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

As a middle school teacher I rarely raised my voice to my students.  Throughout the years I discovered many other strategies that kept my classroom humming. So, one day, when I started barking orders at my seventh grade religion students, they were caught quite off guard. 

“Do NOT eat potato chips at lunch today, they aren’t good for you!” I practically yelled at them.

“Your bodies need good food and vitamins!” came my second attack.

“Start packing nutritious food so that you keep yourself healthy and well!” I snarled.

And then I let them sit in silence, taking in what I said and, obviously, the tone with which I delivered the dictates.

“Now tell me,” I began in my normal voice, “did I say anything that wasn’t true?” 

Slowly, one by one, the students began raising their hands.

“No, Mrs. Dickow, everything you said was true but you were sort of mean about it.”  offered Susan.

I smiled, “Okay, I was mean. But did that make what I said wrong?”

“No, Mrs. Dickow, it didn’t make it wrong but it made me not want to listen.” Nicole said in a voice barely above a whisper.

“Really?  Why not?” I queried.

“Because no one wants to be yelled at, even if what they are being told is right.” Jason answered.

A number of kids nodded in agreement; no doubt thinking of some recent situation in which they had received the ire of someone, probably a parent, saying things that they knew to be true even if the tone was less than appealing.

And so began our unit on the prophets. Previously, I struggled with delivering material that I found exhilarating but left my students were under-whelmed, to say the least.  This particular year I was anxious to try my new tactic to draw them in and as the class period wore on I felt confident that the kids got the message:  Prophets were God’s messengers sharing things that needed to be said even if it was in a way that no one wanted to listen. 

That didn’t make the message wrong.  Whereas students of previous years always felt that they would have listened to the prophets, this group clearly understood why the prophets were often ignored.  None of us likes to hear how we need to improve and yet God wants us to improve all the time.  He provides many growing opportunities along the way and it is up to us to gain wisdom from one situation and apply it to the next.  The prophets were God’s instruments of messages from heaven. 

Consider Jeremiah.  Like all prophets, Jeremiah’s task was especially burdensome.  Jeremiah lived after Isaiah and Jeremiah delivered what I have always felt to be some of the most comforting words in Scripture:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Jeremiah 1:5a. 

I encouraged the students to think of this love that God had for each and every life that began with Him even before its human conception.  What a beautiful message for kids who struggle with their self-worth, peer pressure, and the general angst of growing up!  What was cool about Jeremiah, I told my students, was that he didn’t care about people’s reaction to what he said.  God gave him a job and he did it to the best of his ability. 

Jeremiah really was a hero.

We also talked of other prophets, some able to have a larger impact on the kids than others.  Overall, I knew the unit had been a success on many levels and found out that my initial “attention grabbing” lesson had made a very large impact when the day of the test came and for fun I put in the following question:

Who is NOT a prophet? 

A)Jeremiah
B)Ezekial
C)Mrs. Dickow
D)Joel
E)Daniel

And one of the students picked Joel!

Topics: Faith

Cheryl Dickow is a Catholic wife, mother, author and speaker. She co-authored and published the best-selling All Things Girl books and co-hosted the EWTN 13 part televison series of the same name. Her company is Bezalel Books (Bezalel is Hebrew and means "in the shadow of God") where her goal is to publish great Catholic books for families and classrooms that entertain while uplifting the Catholic faith. Her website is www.BezalelBooks.com where parents, teachers and catechists are invited to browse through titles.  

View all articles by Cheryl Dickow

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

RECENT POSTS

OUR TOPICS

Abortion (42)  Advent & Christmas (19)  Beauty (2)  Bioethics (4)  Books (55)  Church history (14)  Church teaching (28)  Contraception (22)  Culture (119)  Current Events (85)  Dating (15)  Death (4)  Depression (14)  Divorce (7)  Education (12)  Eucharist (3)  Exercise (3)  Faith (213)  Family (86)  Fashion (5)  Feminism (12)  Fertility (2)  Fitness (1)  Food (2)  Forgiveness (17)  Friendship (18)  Generosity (2)  Girl Scouts (2)  Grieving (1)  Health (23)  Home Management (17)  Humor (14)  Leadership (4)  Lent & Easter (12)  Liturgical Year (9)  Marian devotion (8)  Marriage (33)  Mature Years (5)  Meditations (17)  Mental illness (1)  Mercy (1)  Military Families (2)  Ministry (4)  Miscarriage (1)  Motherhood (55)  Movies (1)  Music (4)  Natural Family Planning (2)  Nutrition (4)  Parenting (44)  Personal Growth (105)  Politics (3)  Pornography (3)  Prayer (31)  Pro-Life (26)  Psychology (1)  Reflections (4)  Relationships (44)  Religious freedom (10)  Saints (9)  Scripture (6)  Service (8)  Sexuality (18)  Single years (4)  Social justice (1)  Social Networking (5)  Special Needs (3)  Spirituality (2)  Suffering (13)  Suicide (1)  Travel (11)  Welcome (1)  Women in the Church (3)  Women's Health (20)  Workplace (12)  Writings of the Saints (8)  Young Women (39) 

Apr
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: