This blog is based off Alex’s talking notes that he used to teach the Jr. High students at IDX, the evening of Sept. 7, 2014
After chatting with the kids about the highlights of their weeks, Alex started off his teaching by showing a clip from “Superman Returns” (2006).
Then he talked about a quote from the clip, in the words of Jor-El, Superman’s father:
“They can be a great people Ka-El; they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason, above all else, their capacity for good, I have sent them you—my only son.”
The story of Superman has a lot of Christ symbolism in it, especially highlighted in this quote, not to mention the “El” part of his name, which means “God” in Hebrew. He asked them these questions:
- What did you notice in the Superman clip?
- What does the narrator call Superman? (Ka-El, his birth name) Explain the significance of the name.
- What does the narrator say the people need to be good? (A light to show the way)
- Who was that light? (Superman)
- What is a first fruit?
- What would it mean to be God’s first fruits?
Then Alex showed them this verse from James:
“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.”
James 1:17-18, ESV
And asked them these questions:
- How does James describe God? (the Father of lights)
- Who is James referring to when he writes “Of his own will, he brought us forth by the word of truth.” Who is the “us?”
- Why does James say God brought us forth? (“that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures”).
- What’s a first fruit? (First fruits: the first agricultural produce of a season, especially when given as an offering to God.)
- What would it mean to be the first fruits of God’s creatures?
Alex explained that a first fruit is a farming term, meaning the first of the farmer’s crops. He shared an anecdote from when he was in Guatemala. A friend showed him the first ear of corn from his field, and remarked “Que lindo!” “How handsome!” That’s how God sees us: beautiful, handsome and precious, a worthwhile result after a long time of caring, protection and waiting.