Friday, June 28, 2019

Outdoor Object Lesson 102: Everyone, Hearts and All

Glass Frog


Key Text

"Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually." 1 Corinthians 12:27


Lesson

Frogs are unique and amazing creatures. Most people tend to think frogs are cute, especially compared to their rough-skinned cousins, toads. Frogs live all over the world and include over 6000 species. They can get as big as the Goliath frog which can weight up to 6.6 pounds (3 kg) and be over 13 inches (30 cm) long. They can be as small as the gold frog which is about the size of a dime at about 0.39 inches (1 cm) long and weighing only 7 oz (200 g). There is even a species known as the glass frog which has transparent skin through which you can see its blood flowing and food digesting! Frogs will eat just about anything they can swallow but they generally prefer bugs and insects.1 If you watch a frog swallow you may notice that it blinks when it does so. This is because it uses its eyeballs to help push the food down its through.2

Frogs can live in all sorts of habitats from the edges of deserts to up in trees. But they must live near water in order to reproduce. Frogs tend to live in groups known as an army. During mating season, the males croak loudly to attract females. She lays her eggs in the water for the male to fertilize. When the eggs hatch the babies are called tadpoles and look more like fish than frogs. They will eventually grow legs and proceed out of the water to live on land.1 Frogs are amphibians which means they are cold-blooded. Their body stays the temperature of the air or water around them. They do not have the ability to warm themselves so they must sit in the sun to warm up.
  
Frogs have an interesting circulatory system to pump their blood. They have multiple hearts (including several lymph hearts) in order to keep their circulation flowing. The main heart pumps blood through its body. Some of the fluid from the blood flows into tissues to profuse them. That fluid is gathered by the lymph system and pumped back into the blood vessels by the lymph hearts.3 The frog requires these various hearts to stay alive. But what if some of its other organs and body parts became jealous of the hearts, and decided they wanted to be hearts too? How do you think that would work out?

Probably not well. For a frog's body to function properly, it needs all of its organs to do their job. They cannot try to be a different organ because then which organ would do their job? Just like you and me, a frog needs its hearts, but it also needs its stomach, mouth, nose, tongue, ears, and every other part. Each one is different but they all work together to make up the frog. Paul compared the church to the body of Christ. He said in 1 Cor 12:27 that we are each individual members, but we make up the complete body of Christ. What he meant is that we all have different abilities, we do things differently. These differences are not optional, they are necessary. If we all tried to be singers, who would preach? God has given you and me unique talents that we can use in the work of spreading the Gospel. He expects us to rely on Him to show us how to use them. You may not know exactly how God wants to use you yet, but you can be a f.r.o.g. which stands for Fully Relying On God. He will show you how to contribute to his body.

Questions



Do you like to catch frogs or just look at them from a distance?


Do you know what talents God has given to you? If not, ask someone else what talents they think God has given you.


Is diversity important in the church? What kind of diversity?

How do we find out how God wants us to use our talents for him?

Sources
1. Alina Bradford, "Facts About Frogs & Toads," Livescience.com, (May 1, 2015), accessed June 6, 2019 from https://www.livescience.com/50692-frog-facts.html.
2. Julie Mianecki, "14 Fun Facts About Frogs," Smithsonian Institute online, (June 20, 2011), accessed June 6, 2019 from https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/14-fun-facts-about-frogs-180947089/.
3. Muller, John. "On the Existence of Four Distinct Hearts, Having Regular Pulsations, Connected with the Lymphatic System, in Certain Amphibious Animals." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 123 (1833): 89-94. http://www.jstor.org/stable/107989.

Written by David F. Garner
Photo source: Geoff Gallice via www.commons.wikimedia.org under a CC 2.0 license

1 comment:

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