As a talk-rock, the kids hold it and pass it as they share their prayers. While they sit in a circle, they know that the only person that can speak is the one holding the stone. All the other children must aim to be good listeners. It beautifully sets up prayer time. At the end, I close us in prayer holding the same rock. This stone is more than special to me, it’s sacred. It holds a subtle power after so many young disciples have held it while tuning into the Holy Spirit.
Over the years, I have heard some charming, prayerful moments. Pre-schooler, Hazel once lifted up this prayer, “Dear, God. My mom says, ‘Hazel, you don’t got a choice.’ But God, all I want is more choices, so if you could give me some- that would be great. Also, thank you for bacon.” And a kindergartener once stated his entire prayer in the voice of a Transformer.. Praise for Pokemon-Go, and strength to unlock the next level occurs often in all the grades.
There have been times during prayer, that I have cringed a bit, due to some heretical undertones. I have heard fearful prayers towards God (since God killed Jesus), “Please don’t do it again, God.” Prayers against those who are homosexual have also been offered from these young ones, “Help us to not talk to them”, one 5th grade boy said. And materialistic lamentations have been prayed more than one can imagine.
You don’t need me to tell you that the "littlest of these" require mentors in the faith to prayerfully articulate how the Holy Spirit is moving in and around them (while also kindly correcting the false teachings they bring with them). While children can sense that something different is occurring as they enter our church doors (hopefully), they lack the language to claim and capitalize on it. Not to mention the fact that some holy hums could easily be drowned out by the noise of the world. As the creator of Godly Play, Jerome Berryman states, “Religious language gives words, narrative, and parables that help us to make sense of our experiences with God, to come to know God better and to make meaning of what we experience and learn in all of life.”
The third and final step in the Triple-A Approach calls for us to theologically articulate the grace-filled hope and new life that awaits these Bluebonnet Children in Christ.
Stay tuned as we take some applicable steps in this theological articulation. Be sure to subscribe to the right. 😁
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