Sunday, December 29, 2019

For little kids

I recently picked the Bible Society's book "Christmas" by Susannah McFarlane.

What a great idea to get children interested in Christian faith and to start understanding it. Then, on page 6, it started to unravel. "People didn't want to do what God told them to....They wanted to decide things, not God." And this was for kids, who spend their whole lives being told what to God like that?

Just a bigger teller what to do? I don't think so. Just think about Genesis 1:27 and 3:9-10. God made us for relationship, to be 'in sync' with him, then sought that relationship.

What's missing in the book is that God started out as the one who loves, who seeks relationship everywhere.

Thus the text might better be:

"People didn't want to be friends with God and live how he had made them to. People turned away from being Gods friends and tried to be God's bosses. But they didn't know enough, and weren't wise enough.

We are all like that, we think we know better than God about who God made us and we muck things up...often we do this a lot.

No matter how hard we try, we cannot really be  God's friends because we keep telling him we don't want to live like he made us."

You get the picture. For kids particularly, its about relationship, about relationship broken, and about God himself coming into our world (that he made for us) to make us strong enough to be his friends again.

Then, of course, you'll have to deal with what it means that God made everything. The first thing kids will hit at preschool is materialistic, pagan evolution, which de-personalises the universe, pushes God away from real involvement with us, and denies that he created us in any realand meaningful way.

Indeed, part of the theology of Genesis 1 is that God stepped into our world in the very act(s) of creation and did so to show his means of creating: by his direct word, and that this creation was immediately from the 'hand' of God. The place made for us to be friends of God. The creation account imbeds the relationship in the real concrete world; not in some immaterial fiction that has no relation with anything real in our lives.

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