Purpose: To illustrate the reality of our sinful nature by using an example from mother nature.
Supplies: An apple
Get in front of your students with your apple and take a big bite out of it. (This is even better if you’re holding a microphone close to the crunch sound of your bite.) While chewing on the pulp, try to say, “Man I love apples!”
After swallowing that first bite so you can continue, say, “There’s nothing better than biting into a cold, crisp apple and enjoying the sweet juicy meat underneath that delicious red exterior. But sometimes, that first bite reveals a worm, thrashing about after being disturbed. Has that ever happened to you? There’s never a hole on the side of the apple, so how does the darn worm get inside?”
(If you want, you can pause and let students shout out their theories. When you’re satisfied with their responses, continue.)
“The answer to my question can actually tell us a lot about our sinful natures.”
“It may surprise you, but the worm was actually born inside the apple. That’s right; science tells us that during the summer months, tiny fruit flies buzz through apple orchards looking for a place to deposit eggs. After the female finds a sweet apple that is ripening on the tree, she inserts her ovipositor (a long, slender, hollow tube) into the apple, and releases her eggs into the body of the fruit.”
“Soon thereafter, the eggs hatch into tiny white, flightless worms. These ‘railroad worms’ are always hungry as they grow, and they eat the fruit into which they were born. This creates the tunnels we see inside infested apples. It also explains why we never see exterior holes.”
“Eventually, that apple falls from the tree and the worm crawls out and burrows into the ground. The worm then succumbs to the transformation of nature into a fruit fly that winter, and the cycle repeats itself. And that’s how the worm gets into the apple.”
Where to go from here?
“That is the way sin is, in us. It is born into us.”
”Or perhaps, we are born in it!”
You may want to use the story of King David’s murderous affair with Bathsheba as an example of sin. If so, they say, “In the aftermath of King David’s tremendous sin with Bathsheba, he penned these words:
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than now.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.