Divine Math Class

The CIA middle school youth group performed the following skit as the sermon at the 10am service on Trinity Sunday, at which we also had a baptism. Special thanks to Cathy Forest, who wrote the following, and the seven middle schoolers, who did the skit.

Miss Keptic: Students, welcome to your first review class for the Math MCAS test.  I will be helping you review for this important state standardized exam.  You have learned all of these concepts before, so this should just be a review.  And I understand that you students from St. Stephen’s are particularly bright.

First, let’s discuss number properties.  Look at this flipchart.  What can you tell me about these numbers?

Nathan:  They are all multiples of 12!!

Miss Keptic:  Excellent!

Emma:  And there are 12 months in a year!

Keptic:  OK…

Sophie: There are 12 eggs in a dozen!

Keptic:  Ok…now…

Aidan: (interrupting)  There were 12 sons born of Jacob…

Liam:   (interrupting and excited) …making the 12 tribes of Israel…

Olivia:  (Interrupting and excited)…and the Wise Men showed up 12 days after Christmas…

Adam:  (Interrupting and excited)…and Jesus selected 12 disciples!

Keptic:  Well, OK!  Twelve is certainly an important number.  But we must really get back to math.

Why don’t we turn to number operations instead?  I’m sure you will be very familiar with the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division!

Nathan:  I’m sorry Miss Keptic.  But here at St. Stephen’s we learned Jesus’ math.  There is no subtraction or division here.

Keptic:  Www…what do you mean???

Emma:  Well, let’s say you have six blessings.  And you gave me all six of your blessings.  How many blessings would you have?  Well, you would still have the six blessings that you gave away to me.

Nathan:  And because you gave your blessings to another, the blessings would have multiplied.

Emma:   Yeah, when we share the blessings of our gifts and talents, the blessings spread, and grow, and multiply…but they never subtract or divide.  It’s divine math Miss Keptic!

Keptic:  (flustered) Well…I…I…I think we should move on to geometry!

Please take a look at this shape.  What can you tell me about it?

Aidan:  It’s a circle Miss K.  It is one of our favorite shapes here at St. Stephen’s because it has no beginning and no ending….

Sophie:  (interrupting and excited) Actually, it does have a beginning which is also an ending…

Aidan:  (interrupting and excited)  …and the church uses the circle to tell time during the year, so we always remember that for every ending there is a beginning and for every beginning there is an ending…

Sophie:  …or like the story of Jesus’ death and rising again.  It was an ending but also a beginning, so the story can go on forever!

Keptic:  Yes students.  I see now what a wonder  – filled shape the circle is.    Thank you.

Maybe you could teach me about this shape??

Liam:  Of course, Miss Keptic.  It is an equilateral triangle.  All the sides are the same length.

Olivia:  And all the angles are the same measure.

Adam:  It is also used as the symbol of the Holy Trinity.

Keptic:   The Holy Trinity?

Liam: Yes.  There is only one God who is revealed to us in three ways –  as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Olivia:  God is the creator.  Remember the water of creation?  And the dangerous water of the flood, and the water the people went through into freedom?  He created the water Jesus was baptized in, the water that we were baptized in, the water that Ryland will be baptized in, and so much more.

Adam:  God is also the Redeemer.    There was once someone who said such wonderful things and did such amazing things that people just had to ask him who he was.  One time when they asked him who he was, he said…”I am the Light!”

Liam:  God is the Sustainer.  The Holy Spirit goes where it will.  It rides the invisible wind like a dove, and comes to us when we need its comfort and power.  It is invisible like the scent of the oil at Baptism, but it is still there.

Olivia: We experience God in these three ways, but God is really one.  (Olivia gets up, goes to flip chart and writes:  1 + 1 + 1 = 1).

It’s just more divine math, Miss Keptic.

Keptic:  I think I understand.  Well, I don’t really understand.

(She looks sad, sits on the steps and the students stand around her).

Students, I am so sorry.  I thought that I could teach you.  But I was wrong.  You know so much more than I do.  There is just so much about this complex, awe inspiring world that God has created, that I don’t understand.  How will I ever understand it?

(Students put their hands on her bowed head and shoulders)

Emma:   With respect for the ways of God…

Aidan:  With an open heart…

Sophie:  With great faith…

Nathan:  and with a sense of wonder.

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