Teaching Through Themes

Just a few weeks ago, my family (as well as many others) prepared to see a rare total eclipse. Our home in Kansas was near the path of totality, so we eagerly anticipated the the promise of darkness in the mid-afternoon.

As I researched a bit about solar eclipses, I decided to do a few things to make the anticipated day extra special. I made sure that each family member had protective glasses, the appropriate attire (Nasa t-shirts for the boys, a star shirt for me, and an eclipse shirt for my daughter). I purchased many eclipse-worthy snacks (Sun Chips, Sunkist soda, Orbit gum, etc.). I bought Oreos and required that they could only be eaten after being used to model the current stage of the eclipse. I even planned and prepared an eclipse-themed breakfast and lunch.


Some may laugh at my shenanigans, but it was fun! It could be that I was an elementary teacher, or that I like to plan fun activities. Whatever the reason, this day will be a memorable one for our family (even if the eclipse was blocked by clouds).

As I planned the day, each thing I considered was eclipse-themed. For several days before the eclipse, my mind was searching for ways to incorporate the eclipse into every experience of the anticipated day. This planning and follow-through inspired me with a new understanding of the following Bible verse:

Do everything you say or do in the name of the Lord Jesus. Always give thanks to God the Father through Christ. (Colossians 3:17, NIrV)

I think we often forget the everything in this verse. We do some things in Jesus’s name, yet many times we just forget him (or purposefully leave him out). But including him in everything may look something like my eclipse-themed clothes, snacks, and meals. The day oozed of eclipse.

Many of us do this during the Advent season (prior to Christmas). We decorate for Christmas, eat Christmas-y foods, listen to Christmas music, wear red and green clothes, and attend Christmas parties. The season naturally lends itself to doing everything with Christmas in mind.

The problem is that most of us do not translate this frame of mind into real life. It is only seasonal. We make sure that we do things in Jesus’s name on Sundays (at least when we’re at church), when we pray, or when we feel strong in our faith. But the everyday does not include Jesus in everything.

So, let’s begin to do (or say) everything in Jesus’s name. Let’s begin to consider how we can incorporate him into our days. Let’s include him in our conversations, our work, and our families. Let us remember to do everything…in the name of the Lord Jesus.