The Bible study was Colossians 3:15-17. This is about the Colossian church. The Colossian church was vulnerable to divisiveness, so Paul instructs them to set aside the old way of life, and to put on the new self in Christ in order to live in peace and love. It's a lesson in encouraging one another, using only words that build up and bless others.
I started by having everyone say one thing they are thankful for about everyone else that was around the table. Aidan started and began well enough. He told Jordan that he was thankful for his smile to which Jordan grinned really widely. He told me that he was thankful for a Mom that could cook so well. and then he said that Justin was smart.
Then it was Justin's turn. His upper half was lying on the table. He sort of looked up and said, "Aidan! Good! Jordan! Good! Mommy! Good!" while giving everyone a thumbs up. The other boys thought this was funny and laughed.
When it was Jordan's turn he followed Justin. "Mom! Good! Justin! Good! Aidan! Good!" with a thumbs up.
I was not impressed. Both Justin and Jordan were told to do it again. Justin looked at me confused as to why this was not the time to make a joke!
We managed to get through the introduction and then worked on the actual text.
I asked, "How do you 'let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts'?"
Aidan launched into Christ always being in his heart. He could do it.
I left this alone and asked another question. "How do you 'let the word of Christ dwell in you richly'?"
They all looked at me confused. Justin was still lying on the table. He again said, "Good!" Again, the boys laughed and I told Justin that he needed to behave himself.
"What about memorizing scripture?" I asked. I started singing a song from an old Slugs and Bugs album that I knew they would all remember. It took about 10 seconds for everyone to clime in.
Justin, again, put up his thumb and said, "Good!" At this point I was really angry.
"Why are you doing that when we are talking about encouragement and building each other up? How is that supposed to help? Can you take this seriously?"
I decided to try again. "Why is being thankful so important?"
Jordan answered first. "It makes people happy!"
"That's a good thought Jordan. If we are thankful, we are positive. We are in the right frame of mind to think about God."
We prayed from there. We prayed for the peace of Christ to rule in our family. We also thanked God for Jesus and the Bible.
The blessing was that Justin was upright and paying attention. The boys were serious. Maybe, just maybe, they understood that we all need to encourage each other.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.