I had a wonderful Sabbath yesterday, which bodes well for today. Sharing Time was an absolute blast! I got to teach them about tithing, a principle about which I am passionate.
The manual suggested taking ten pieces of fruit. I went that a few steps better. Ten seductively fragrant nectarines, a fruit new to some of the kids but one of my favorites, because you get the flavor of peaches with none of the thbppp. And ten grape tomatoes, nine of them tiny and fairly uniform, the tenth being the Andre the Giant of grape tomatoes. Plus ten clean white socks.
I also brought in my friend Wes, who is in the bishopric, to receive the tithes. The kids came up, ten at a time. Each held a piece of fruit. I had them hold up the grape tomatoes to show the relative sizes, then had the kid holding Andre the Tomato give it to Wes.
Taught them that we give the first-and-best to the Lord. Told them how farmers would go first into the best part of their field and fill the wagon to take to their bishop for tithing, back when people tithed in kind. And that we pay our tithing first and then our other obligations.
They were rather more reluctant to tithe the nectarines. Particularly in Senior Primary, where we were able to dive more deeply into doctrine. I taught them that the Lord always blesses us for tithing. Sometimes the blessings are financial. But sometimes honest tithepayers lose their jobs.
I shared with all of them that during a 13 year period in which we had no health insurance, we had no major illnesses and no trips to the emergency room until Firstborn was 16.
With the older kids, I shared that during a time of great financial need, I had walked out to collect the mail, paused to remark that it would be so nice to open an envelope and find money in it instead of a bill, and opened one that contained a $100 bill. The envelope had a Missouri postmark. We knew no one in Missouri.
Someday I will find out how He did that.
The lesson went faster in Senior Primary because there are half as many kids. So after the object lesson I told them stories about tithing miracles in my life and bore testimony to them.
I did not make the kids hold one of my clean socks, but Wes graciously accepted one and put it into the "tithing pocket". I had explained that if you were not a farmer but maybe made socks for a living, then you would give the bishop one tenth of your socks.
Oh, and before Wes left, I turned ten of the big kids into chickens, one of whom trotted over to him as the volunteer tithing chicken. Hilarious! When my chicks got a little too noisy I told them that noisy chickens went into the stew pot.
We had very little problem with reverence in Senior Primary yesterday. Fancy that.