Saturday, November 24, 2007

Faith Like a Child: The Theological Musings of a Pre-Schooler

I have a TON of these little stories about my kids and their faith. I will try and remember to share more of them with y'all. I think they strike me as particularly poignant or funny now that I am studying theology. Without knowing it, they can offer the best, simplest explanation to a huge theological issue or simultaneously land in the middle of a monstrous heresy that bothered the church for hundreds of years.

One day not too long ago during family devotions, I was asking questions about the fruit of the Spirit and seeing if the kids could name them (after I had just read the Bible passage where they are mentioned). (The family devotional we use starts with a parable using Veggie Tales characters, then it tells a Bible story, then it asks questions, then we pray.) Ewan got excited and started giving himself "points" whenever he got one right. Ever since then, he looks forward to the question time after the Bible passage because he wants to earn more "points". (Mind you, he doesn't get a prize for any of this. He just likes to "win".)

Anyway, last night I was asking them: "How does Jesus saves us from our sins?"
Ewan answered, "By being a shepherd!"
I gave him a half point for this answer since the the parable was about a shepherd who goes into a pit to get the sheep out rather than lowering a shoelace or a pot. It accented the incarnation.

I said, "Yes, Jesus is like the shepherd because he came down from where?
Ewan: "Heaven!"

Me: "Right! Another half point! Now, how did he save us from our sins? What did he do here on earth?"
Ewan: "Uh...P...P... Baking!"
Amelia & I stifle grins. =) Pictures of Jesus standing in our kitchen with a flour-dusted apron on flood to my mind.

Amelia: "No, you were going to saying something with a "P". Were you going to say, 'Prea..."
Ewan: "Preaching! Yah!"

Me: "Yes. That's right. Preaching and healing and then dying..."
Ewan: "On the cross for our sins!"
Me: Very relieved that my son has just given a clear statement of the atonement... In the back of my mind, I am thinking, 'Could he get into heaven with that answer? I think so.' But just as I am resting in this eloquent restatement of the central Biblical truth...

Ewan: "Yah, because of if he died for his own sins, that would not be good."

Me: Ah, yes...Well...I guess I'm not the master theological trainer of the young I thought I was. But, alas, a good opportunity to talk of Jesus' sinlessness.

Me: "Well, Jesus didn't have any sin. He didn't do anything wrong."
Ewan: Blank stare.
Me: (In my mind) OK, I think I'll move on to the next question.

We went on to talk about the Holy Spirit and ow he speaks to our hearts (which went very well).
Then it was Isaac's turn to pray and he prayed as he always does (with his little palms covering his eyes as he peaks through his fingers):

"God, thank you for the birds and trees and fruit and clouds and grass and...TV's and movies. AMEN."
(He ALWAYS has to get TV's and movies in there somewhere.)

Blessed are the honest thoughts and prayers of a child. If we were only all so "unvarnished" in our dealings with God! Amen.


ceciliabrie said...

i think there must be a way to understand Jesus' work as "baking"...i will work on that play.

Tina said...

Am i simple minded? Simplistic? OR was that not one of the best post ever read? I love you guys a ton! Thanks for sharing!

mamabrown said...

Thanks for sharing that devotional with us. Would like to hear more of these. Warmed my heart to "see" Isaac's hands when he prays as well as his simple prayer of the things he is thankful for. Ewan is growing up spritually, isn't he? Can't wait to hear more from the mouth of babes. Good blog, Jon.

Mimi said...

In the interest of preserving Isaac's spiritual journey I have to share one of my favorite memories of putting Isaac to sleep. I'm singing (as directed by Isaac)"Jesus loves me this I know..." and I hear Isaac say, "But I don't know!" "Don't know what, Isaac?" "I don't know Jesus loves me." So I put my hands on his head and asked God to reveal His love to Isaac, then continued. "I know God loves you, Isaac. He gave you a wonderful mommy and daddy, didn't he?" "Yes" "And a big brother, and a little brother" "Yes...and MOVIES, God gave me MOVIES!!!!" What a precious moment...good thing it was dark and he couldn't see my smile... Love you all...

Jon Parker said...

Yes, Mimi... You'll be happy to know that Isaac thanks God for movies EVERY night! =)