|The Ark of Noah by artist He Qi|
It is overwhelming to think of an 8th grader having mastered all of these stories. I don’t know many adults who have mastered them. But mastery is not the goal. Acquaintance with the most familiar and foundational stories and basic biblical knowledge are the goal.
Our task in Confirmation class is twofold: we look more closely at some of these stories to appreciate their beauty and pay attention to the details, and we discuss what they teach us about who God is and who we are as people who claim these stories as our own. These are the first real lessons they get in biblical interpretation.
The practice of hearing and telling these stories throughout their life helps a child and then a teenager think of them as their stories, their tradition, their history. This is a feat that cannot be achieved by reading them for the first time sitting around a table (circle of beanbag chairs) in a Confirmation class, no matter how much homework I assign them.