Monday, 23 May 2011

Children & Theology 2- Follow my leader

Just watched the basic.fellowship preview video: Which is a bit like nooma for those who haven't seen it, but what hooked my imagination was the illustration he used about follow my leader which children love playing. As adults we lose this,  Jesus says something to us but we then try and interpret why it doesn't apply to us. Bonhoeffer had a lot to say about simple obedience, that we try and wriggle out of doing what he says. Children are happy to do what they are told in follow my leader. Maybe we need to be a little simpler sometimes. Jesus called the disciples to follow him which means to do what he says (see a message to the English church).


This evening my little girl took the bread she had and broke off small pieces and gave them to Cath and me. I don't need to read anything into it, she comes to communion with us each week (sometimes more than once) and is prayed for, she dosent understand it yet (I am doing a whole module on it now and it is still a mystery to me) but that is fine. She is continuing on her journey of faith, where it goes is in God's hands but each night when I put her to bed I pray with her:
That she will become a friend of God that she will be our friend and that she will be friends with the lost and the lonely.
In the Lion handbook of children's prayers (a mixed bag) it had a simple prayer of blessing for our house:
That God would bless our house and we would welcome all who come to it

I like these prayers and ultimately God is bigger than me and his grace is at work in ways I don't see or understand but I don't want to teach her how to pray Jesus bless me and my fluffy bunny (she doesn't have a bunny but you get my point), which is why I think the Lord's prayer is so important in how we teach anyone to pray, why do we so often leave decent teaching behind when we teach basics to children?

I am fascinated by a friend (and future colleague) who has a prayer board as someone who is more visually orientated I think this is a great idea particularly with the 5 God children we have and the other children of friends we pray for as well as the needs so prevalent in our world.

I was talking with another friend at College today who mentioned that Karl Barth had written on parenting, which I think is a fascinating (correct me if I am wrong here) but he said something like parents are called to draw out of our children that which is good. I am sure I have over simplified it and as I am in the middle of two assignements I don't have time to explore this idea so I will park it for now but it seems worth exploring further.

I am hoping to write a short review on the children's books we use with our little girl as they are very hit and miss, I want to draw out of my children good, not just bless mum, dad and my sister, take this in the spirit it is meant I am not a miserable dad, I am a fool with my children, but I would rather be a fool for Christ than for some other gospel which is all about bless me children are not stupid they pick up a lot...

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