(An interruption to the normal blogging train of thought, since I want to remember.)
A few weeks ago, I started playing and singing songs about the cross and the resurrection. I was a little worried, because all the children seemed to know about Easter was bunnies and egg hunts. It’s hard not to get excited when people around you are talking about candy and bunnies.
We could have left out the candy and easter egg hunt, but in the end we decided that it might actually help us make Resurrection Sunday memorable. I started talking about the cross. We talked about the crown of thorns, and that made a big impression on Bethel. I reminded them about the mesquite bushes we avoid when we go hiking. They have two inch thorns all over the branches, and it wasn’t hard for them to understand how that hurt. Anytime after this discussion, when I asked about why we were celebrating Easter, Bethel brought up the thorns.
It was helpful that in the Bible story book we’re using at the moment (Leading Little Ones to God), Lee read the lessons on the cross and resurrection the week right before Easter. So we had some formal discussions, but also some informal discussions.
At the last minute I decided to make a big meal. I was a little ambitious, but I got the children helping (since my goal was for the day to be memorable, I wanted to make them as much a part as I could). I was making some odd dishes, so I added a Jello salad (just layers of Jello in colors the children picked out).
I had the children make name cards for the table, and told them to draw pictures that reminded them of Easter. They suggested bunnies and eggs. Sigh. But I told them that those don’t remind us of the cross and the resurrection, and then they started thinking right: a cross, a crown of thorns (Bethel’s suggestion), a tomb (David’s suggestion, since he thinks tombs are cool). I suggested that they draw a lamb, and David asked why. That gave a good opportunity to stumble over trying to explain in simple language how God’s people killed a lamb to cover their sins, and to remind them that God would send someone who would die and make a way for their sins to be taken away. David didn’t tell me to stop, so I think he was interested.
Easter morning we have a sunrise service, outside, and we went. It’s cold at the foot of the mountains. That’s one way to make it memorable. The only problem was that I forgot the children’s coats, and it was hard to keep the blankets on them. Then Laurel was fretful, partly because she resented my fuzzy blanket and wanted hers, the one I forgot with the coats. Then Bethel had to go potty… we didn’t make it on time. So the morning service wasn’t memorable like I would like it to be, but there’s really no way to tell what seed fell on good soil.
I had to remind myself that it is the message, not the feeble messenger, that is important. It’s easy to think that my children’s spiritual growth is entirely dependent on my explanations, my feeble attempts to talk easily and naturally about God, my ability to see Scripture applied to everyday life. These tasks I am told to do, learning as I practice what works best, but when I feel inadequate for the task I must remember it is the gospel that is the power to save, not the earthen vessel.
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. II Corinthians 4:6-7
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament II Corinthians 3:5-6
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. II Corinthians 12:9-10
Shelley Gallamore says
It sounds like you had a great day with little kids. We did just as you decided to do and included a little eggs and candy in the holiday – with quite a bit of church and reading. And any attempt to do a service or whatever was a chaotic scene when they were all little – but now they are able to sit still. You have the right perspective – you have no idea what seeds have been planted.