At some point every day, I get to try to tie the game or games we are playing into the big idea the children hopefully have been learning in all their other stations. That means I have all of 1-2 minutes to try to get them to understand a big truth- and surprisingly most of them get it.
On Monday, we wanted the kids to understand how God loves us and protects us, but also how we can be God's love and protection to others.
As we talked about it, the children quickly realized how easy it was to get our feelings hurt, and without much prompting gave me real ways they could love those they knew at school and other places by being their friend and inviting them to play. When we extended that each day to talking about trusting God when we don't understand, the children quickly made the connection to being loving to those who aren't nice to them. We do not understand why God wants us to do that, but we need to.
Today, the children also learned that even when we break the rules, God still loves us. And because of that, we can love those who hurt us too!
Children, from grades K-4 figure it out pretty easily. Now, I know as we get older figuring it out is a little harder. What does loving my neighbor mean when the person is across town and in poverty? How much of my stuff do I need to give away to be loving? How much of my comfort and "protection" do I need to share to be that person's Jesus? It gets a little more complicated, or does it? If these kids can figure out, why can't we?
"He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:2-3