I have two stories here that will eventually collide.
Story #1: Coming from a secular to a Christian private school has been an interesting transition. I’ve had many questions-especially about telling Bible Stories:
When talking about the story of Esther do I say Haman wanted to kill the Jewish people or hurt the Jewish people? Do I include that the King had Haman killed in the end? Even more when talking about Jesus, how do I talk about him being crucified? How do I tell them he died on a cross?
Now I don’t speak from years of experience. I’ve never really even taught Sunday school. I’ve been in Early Childhood for only a few years….only one really teaching…and not even a full year at Christian Preschool. So I have this huge conflict: not wanting to scar the children but also wanting to tell them the complete truth-that I personally hold so dear.
It’s funny though, even the women at our school that have been teaching for awhile seem to also struggle with the tender emotions of their preschoolers and are always looking for creative ways to give the story of the cross without having to crush them.
So here I am asking myself for the glory of God, do I say they wanted to hurt Jesus or they wanted to kill Jesus?
Story #2: Through the past 6 months working at this job my husband and I have also been learning a lot about the preciousness of God’s word-it’s authority, power & truth. Also, we believe in the authority, power & truth of the complete gospel. As a newly married couple we have come to really treasure these things and the Holy Spirit’s moving through it all.
Now COMPLETE gospel here must be defined. Is it the good news that Jesus died for our sins? Or is there more? YES there’s more! The complete gospel is that we are a fallen human race. Fallen, sinful people cannot come before a Holy God. So God sent his perfect holy son to live a perfect holy life while also being 100% man and allowed his blood on the cross to wipe away our sin. (So often we stop right here) But then JESUS ROSE! He conquered death with power! Through this he gave us a hope that we could one day leave this earth and be with him forever. That hope is available for those whom decide to put their faith in him & count him as more precious than anything the world has to offer.
As a couple, we have come to the conclusion that the complete gospel is what people need. They will never be able to put their trust in this Jesus person that only died for their sins, or this Jesus person that only lives in heaven. No, the complete, full gospel is what a dying people need to hear about.
Now here’s where the stories connect:
Tell me if I’m onto something but are not the little precious preschoolers part of that “dying people” that I talked about? Don’t they deserve to hear the whole truth? Don’t they need to know that Jesus died on a cross because people hated him?
I agree with anyone who says those are very strong words that can bring very strong emotions. BUT HEY! Did you forget something?! That’s not it! Don’t forget about the GOOD NEWS!
Dear little preschooler,
The story doesn’t end there. Yes, he did die on a cross. Yes, he was placed in tomb. Yes he was dead. But that’s not all. Jesus is the precious son of God and he proved it because three days later Jesus came to life. He was dead no longer. Jesus rose from the grave! He showed himself and his power to his friends. We can put our trust him, because he has done what no perfect man has ever done. He came back to life!
Do we not tell our friends and those that are lost that it is “Good News” for a reason? The reason being that there is actually first “Bad News.”
And who said that for a preschooler to cry or be sad about Jesus dying is a bad thing anyways? Why is it okay for them to cry when they hurt their knee but not okay for them to have the natural emotion of crying when they hear that this Jesus they always hear about died? It is a good emotion to feel. We should praise God that He enabled them to feel it. We know that this very same sorrow lead us to repentance. It sure did for me.
I wonder this: Has my fear about saying “kill” and “die” been due to a lack of the complete gospel preached in the churches WE as Christians have attended? Is that why it is so hard to tell the children something WE are not even used to hearing-let alone saying? Either way, hard or not the Holy Spirit will guide us always in giving his complete truth. He does not want us to keep the children from coming to him. I always pray that I would never be a roadblock for them coming to Jesus. A roadblock could be a watering down of the gospel for preschoolers? Now that is something to consider.
To my fellow Preschool teacher/Sunday school teacher,
We are evangelists every day for the Lord as we get to teach children about this Jesus that loves them enough to die for them on a cross. May we not forget, or fear to tell them. May we never forget what makes the gospel “GOOD NEWS”. He’s Risen! Our Savior has risen! We need not fear a tear or two, we only need to tell them the precious truth and let the Holy Spirit work it out in their lives. HE is powerful enough to do so.