It looks like my congregation will be bidding a sad farewell to the Concordia Publishing House Sunday School curriculum. I’m not happy to do that. Last summer we even looked at other (less expensive) options. Our conclusion was that you get what you pay for. The other options were either less complete, or less orthodox. Since shortly after my arrival when we switched to CPH, we know that every three months we get a new set of materials that are Scriptural, Orthodox, and will teach the children faithfully what we believe, teach, and confess.
And that sad thing is, I’m guessing that most of the lessons still are Scriptural and Orthodox.
But they are no longer complete. CPH uses a three-year rotating cycle of lessons. For the last 12 years it has been “Fall: Old Testament. Winter & Spring: Life of Christ and New Testament.”
This year it is Fall: Old Testament. Winter: Book of Acts. Spring: More Old Testament.
That is just not acceptable. While increasing biblical literacy is important, our understanding of Scripture rests on our faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ, and him crucified. We’re sort of one-trick ponies that way. “We preach Christ Crucified.” “I decided to nothing among you but Christ and him crucified.” Those sorts of statements – which the Holy Spirit caused to be written for our instruction – give us the “Scope and sequence” of our instruction.
It would be as if one year, the parents came into the Christmas Program expecting to hear about the birth of Jesus, but instead we had the children recount the time that Deborah defeated the Cannanites, ending with the climactic account of Jael killing Sisera by driving a tent peg through is temple and into the ground. With the old classic “I’ve got a great big tent peg, right through my head. Where?…”
No. We have the kids memorize verses about the birth of Jesus. And they learn songs about the birth of Jesus. Why? Because it is that important. Every year. Same thing. We don’t “mix it up” with camping stories from the book of Judges. Because that would be less faithful – even if we teach them the story faithfully.
Monday, I will be cancelling our subscription. But I’ll check back in. As soon as they change the scope and sequence back so that it covers the birth and death of Jesus each year, I’ll be on the phone to sign up again. Because the materials are quite good.
But suddenly, they aren’t complete.
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