Tuesday, July 24, 2012

School Days, Dear Old Golden Rule Days.

School days in the late 1920 and early 1930 could well be described as “School days, school days, dear old Golden Rule days.”

Golden Rule days? Yes. We learned about the "Golden Rule" and other Bible lessons in public school in the 1930's as well as in Sunday School.

When I was in what was then called, "Grammar School", we "went to chapel" three times a week. We referred to the school auditorium as “the chapel.” No wonder, atheist and agnostics want to rewrite American history!

In chapel we sang church hymns and patriotic songs. We stood to place our hands over our hearts and pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. We prayed the Lord's Prayer. We memorized whole chapters of scripture and repeated them in unison.

Some of Bible readings I learned in school included, Psalm 1, Psalm 23, Psalm 24 and Psalm 100. We memorized and repeated in unison, I Cor. 13 and Romans 12 as well as the Matthew and Luke account of the birth of Jesus.

In 1930 I stood on the stage in Chapel and told a Bible story. In my mind’s eye, I see myself as a seven-year-old, walking up the steps to the stage on the left of the large school auditorium. I remember beginning the story by saying in rote fashion, “Once there was a sick man. He was so sick he could not walk. He was so sick he could not sit up. But he had four friends who took him to Jesus

I do not know why I remember so clearly walking up the steps to the stage and the words of the beginning of the story. The rest of my recitation is foggy. It is a familiar Bible story found both in Luke 5:18-25 and Mark 2:1-12.

Mark and Luke tell us the paralyzed man had four friends who took him on a mat where he lay to the place where Jesus was teaching. When they could not get into the house because of huge crowds surrounding Jesus, these four friends carried the crippled man up on the roof of the house, pried off enough of the tiles to let their friend down through the ceiling. Bible scholars tell us this did not damage the roof on the house. They placed their paralyzed friend on his mat at the feet of Jesus.

esus told the sick man to “stand up, take up your bed and go home.” The man got up, picked up his mat and walked away praising God

The large school auditorium floor slanted down toward the stage and had theater style individual seats that lifted up so we could pass by. The floor of the auditorium was oiled clean and smelled of polish.

We walked in long lines to chapel with each class sitting together. Then standing to sing and participate in all the educational, patriotic, moral and Christian chapel activities .


Carol said...

What a nice memory! I remember praying in school. And even after I became a teacher, we sometimes had prayer. But it's been a long time since then. I'm so glad you are writing about these experiences of yours. I love reading them.

Joan said...

When I was a student, we had a blessing with the class before lunch. That was also a common practice the first few years I taught school. I also remember having weekly "chapel" in middle school and high school. We met in the school auditorium and it was not always a spiritual lesson - just a serious assembly (lectures on community responsibility, morals, etc.)-- but it was called "chapel." Appropriate audience behavior was strictly enforced at these assemblies.