Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Explaining God to children

"Mom, how can Jesus come into our hearts? He's too big and our heart is just little. Is God many? How can He be in all of the people?"

Ugh! That's probably one of the hardest questions I've ever been asked as a Christian, and it came from my 7-year-old daughter. Maybe it was the weather that made her ask those questions. It was raining hard that night and Star was scared to sleep by herself. I told her it was okey. That she didn't have to be afraid because Jesus was with her and that, in fact, is in her all the time because she already asked Him to come into her heart.

Then I reminded her about the story of the storm. How Jesus ordered the storm to stop when they were crossing a lake. He is all powerful. He created everything. He can make things happen just by saying what He wants. I said like her, the disciples were also afraid but because Jesus was with them everything went under control. And then I assured her that she too, can ask Jesus like what the disciples did, and Jesus will take control of the situation. Suddenly, she blurted out those difficult questions.

Indeed, how do you explain God to little children? When I was younger, I asked a pastor to explain to me the concept of the Trinity. Growing up in a conservative family where questions are not encouraged and where beliefs are imposed, religiousity included, I had too many questions running in my mind. But I couldn't even dare open my mouth, lest I be called "servenguenza!" I liked the pastor's illustration on the Trinity. Think about the egg, he tells me. You have one whole egg. But it has a shell, an egg white and a yolk. Yet it is one. God is like that. He is one. But He has three personas -- the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Explaining God to children is a long process. Sometimes, kids can be the most philosophical beings in the universe. Yet, they can also be God's instruments of leading you to a more binding walk with Him. In my own experience, God spoke to me countless of times through my children. And I've come to understand the fruit of the spirit -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness -- through them. But more than words, I believe, the best way to explain God to children is through our actions. When Jesus said "by the fruit, you will recognize them," He meant the power of our actions. Our lives, indeed, can be the fifth gospel. And not just in the eyes of our children, but in the rest of the world as well.

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