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Travesty or Teachable Moment?  

How do you mix the Fourth of July, the story of Gideon, and an urgent desire to pass on biblical truth to your grandkids?  I’m not at all sure I know. But here’s what happened.

All four of Josh and Lynnette’s grandkids showed up at our house for an overnight on July 4th.  With ten-month-old Sadie finally asleep, it was time to get Josie, Caleb and Lucy to bed.  Bible stories are a grand tradition, and we have a couple of favorite kids’ Bibles we use (I strongly recommend Ken Taylor’s, The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes from Moody Publishers.  It has just the right amount of text and pictures.  Plus, difficult concepts are explained wonderfully simply).

But because it was the Fourth of July…and because these kids’ mom had left each of them with a glow stick, I decided to attempt a reenactment of the story of Gideon.  You’ll recall the action from Judges 7, where God whittled down Gideon’s army to just 300 men. Armed with trumpets and clay jars covering their oil lamps, at God’s instruction, they wreaked havoc against a vastly superior Midianite army, suddenly revealing their lamps.

Judges 7 records, “They shouted, ‘A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!’ While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.”  Call it a low tech version of shock and awe. 

So how did this mix with our little tykes’ glow sticks?  They were hidden under pillows and pajamas to block out the light.  We took turns giving “the signal,” then repeatedly shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”  Only then did the kids whirl and twirl the glow sticks.   

This faux attack was repeated again and again (complete with several iPhone videos of our reenactment).  And I reminded the kids that this Bible story—like all of them—really did happen. 

In retrospect, the video evokes more of a scene from Star Wars then Scripture.  But I suspect the next time you mention to Joslynn, Caleb, or Lucy the biblical character named Gideon, they will surely remember his story.

Travesty or teachable moment?  You decide! 

(Love to get your email on this!).  




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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016