What is it about the fact that once a person says “don’t do [insert action],” it’s like every fiber of your being all of a sudden wants to do that action? Our family recently received a children’s story called Don’t Push the Button! that seeks to engage that familiar feeling. When the reader does give in and push the button, all kinds of silliness ensues.
The Ten Commandments were given to us by God and recorded for us in Exodus 20. Martin Luther wrote explanations to those commandments that have been so helpful that many still work to memorize them today, several hundred years after they were written.
Red Light, Green Light! It’s a classic children’s game right up there with Duck, Duck, Goose (or dare I say… Duck, Duck, Gray Duck?) and Red Rover, Red Rover. It’s amazing what fun can be had simply by saying the words “red light” and “green light.” The whole game is literally letting children walk on green and stop on red. There are variations of having your back turned on green and suddenly turning around on red to try and catch those that get too close, but the gist is all the same.
If you were to ask me what is most important to me, I would tell you things like my family, faith, and friends. You know. All the things that are supposed to be the most important. There are countless mugs, T-shirts, memes, and so on that jest about coffee being on that list. I always kind of roll my eyes at such things. And yet, if you were to observe my daily routines, you would see that I pretty consistently make an effort to ingest that caffeinated beverage nearly every day.
I will always remember the surprise and joy of listening to my brother’s first spontaneous prayer. In our family of six, my parents strove to lead nightly devotions and prayers. Though we didn’t get to it every night, it was enough that my brother, the youngest, was able to catch on to what we were doing. After a group prayer, the rest of us would take turns saying prayers out loud. In the middle of someone else’s petition, he suddenly burst out, “Thank You for the sandbox!” Then we knew it was time for Dalen to have a turn in our nightly prayers.
Have you ever tried to explain Jesus’ family to a preschooler? It’s pretty fun. You get out a picture of Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus. You have this perfect little picture of Jesus with His mom and … hold on. You’re about to say dad, but you realize that’s kind of true and kind of … not true? And voilà. You’ve just taught the children about blended families without having any intention of doing so. Or at least, that wasn’t my own original intention as I stumbled upon this discussion my first year of teaching.
Some might call that a rookie mistake, but I like to think of it as a great example of why it’s valuable to read stories of Scripture over and over again. Here’s why.
As a DCE, preschool teacher, and mother, I often ask myself, “How can I possibly pass on everything there is to know and understand about the Bible?” When I look at the whole table of options, I find myself staring at the table, frozen with the feeling of being overwhelmed and stuck, not knowing where to even begin. The responsibility of passing on the faith, as a professional or a parent, can at times be overwhelming.
As a student at Concordia University, Nebraska, I enjoyed attending chapel services on campus. Nearly ten years later, I still remember some significant messages I heard there. In particular, I remember when a professor shared that he had been in a car accident. Thankfully, no one involved had been hurt. As he would tell people about the close call, many responded by saying, “God is good,” which is, of course, true. This professor wanted to make it clear, however, that even if he had gotten hurt in the accident, that statement would still be true. God is always good, not just when we are blessed to avoid hurt or injury.
Preschoolers often have big questions. To them, their questions aren’t so big. As they encounter new experiences that range from scraping a knee to a death in the family, they are simply trying to make sense of the world around them. However, to the adult of whom the question is asked, who has more life experience and understanding, the answer may seem very complicated. So, we wonder: How in the world am I going to explain this?