I love bed time stories and the time spent as a family at the end of the day. Currently we are reading through the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. I can’t really tell who is the most eager to get back into the story each night. I truly admire C.S. Lewis’ skill to write such an adventurous story. Most of all, I am in awe of his ability to weave complex faith-related concepts into the stories with such ease.
After reading a chapter, we move into Bible-reading. Very often the children ask me to read more. The Bible is so fascinating. And so are the questions asked by the children. You’d think having a Ph.D. in Theology would make it easier but it really doesn’t. Being able to explain faith-related concepts to kids is always challenging (if you aren’t C.S. Lewis that is).
Yesterday, we were reading from the 3rd chapter of the gospel according to John where Nicodemus and Jesus were talking about being born again. Nicodemus didn’t understand how a grown up could be born again and Jesus explained to him: That which is born of the flesh is flesh [the physical is merely physical], and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be surprised that I have told you, ‘You must be born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].’ (John 3:6-7, AMP, emphasis added)
I tried to explain this to my children without religious language, using some metaphors that would be familiar to them and still felt that I was not making much sense. Then I told them that those who have been born again are friends of Aslan (the lion representing Jesus in the Narnia books) and they got it immediately. Talk about the power of stories.
When we are friends of Jesus, we are filled with the Holy Spirit.
When we are on Jesus’ side, God’s Spirit is working within us.
Afterwards, like every evening, we talked to God together. We gave thanks for the day, for the little things and big things in our lives. We asked for protection, guidance, and God’s presence in our lives. We asked for God’s will to happen in and through our lives. And then we wrapped ourselves, our loved ones – and now you- with this ancient blessing:
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
and give you peace.
Q4U: How would you explain “being born again” (and other faith-related concepts) for children?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace Jesus as your friend!