Thursday, June 15, 2006

Children see faith differently

Children see religion differently from adults. They take things literally, but they also see things that we miss.
For instance, many years ago I tried to explain the Trinity in a children's sermon. I held up an egg and asked, "How many eggs do I have?" The kids exclaimed, "One!" Then I cracked the egg and emptied the contents into a bowl. I pointed out that the egg had a shell, yolk and white. Then I explained that in a similar way, there is one God, but He is three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I felt I had enlightened the kids to a great theological truth until I heard what one child said when he returned to his pew. He was heard to chuckle and tell his parents, "Heh, heh, Brother Bob made a mess!"
Maybe that's why I just let them go to children's church now.
But I still get to tell stories to children at our church. First Baptist Church of Rincon has a Weekday Ministry child care center. Each Tuesday morning during the school year, I tell a Bible story to about 50 four-year-olds from the K-4 program.
Once I told the story of how Pharaoh wanted to kill the Hebrew children, so Moses' family hid him in a basket in the Nile River. The lesson was about families caring for one another. But one child went home and started beating up her baby dolls. When her mother asked why, she replied, "Brother Bob told me to. He said that Pharaoh killed the Hebrew children."
Once I was talking about how God made people of different races and nationalities. I had them notice that some of them had white skin, some had brown skin, and some of the children had black skin. Then I had them notice that some had blond hair, some had brown hair, and some had black or red hair. I pointed to my head and asked, "What color is my hair?" Instantly they shouted "silver!" and I realized that I had my finger on my graying temples. One of the teachers bowled over in laughter at the shocked look on my face, so I pointed to her and asked, "What color is her hair?" They shouted, "Orange!"
Another time we sang a song about how God made the leaves that fall down, and we all pretended to have a leaf in our hands. The teachers asked each child what color his or her leaf was. The Methodist preacher, who was a big NASCAR fan, had a son at our day care, and this preacher's kid immediately answered, "Jeff Gordon's color!"
Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder, them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mark 10:14-15, NIV). Maybe children don't see things differently after all-- maybe they just see what we ignore. Do your children see your true colors?

1 comment:

Bloodiest of Ladies said...

LOL Kids are great, arne't they? I'm sort of like you, I don't know what to say to them for the most part, but they are great. And really, after being around them for awhile, and answering "What does that word mean" a few times I communicate pretty well with them. Maybe those of us who don't speak 'child' terribly well should work on helping children speak 'child' with better words then we'd understand each other. :)