|Eve's drawing of Jesus after the Resurrection from a few years ago.|
As Easter approaches, I wanted to share this excellent article by Traci Smith. Traci is a pastor, writer, and the author of the book "Faithful Families," which is terrific.
The Violence of the Cross and Children: Thoughts Before Holy Week
This is a good article focusing on how we talk about the violence of the crucifixion with our very youngest. I've thought about it a lot. I had a former preschool Sunday school student talk to me for weeks after Easter and how "crosses kill people" and how confusing it was for him to see people wearing them and displaying them in church.
We have to always remember to tell the story in ways that make sense developmentally for our kids. I am not talking about watering down the Gospels - I am talking about remembering what a child's level of understanding and interpretation might be and meeting them where they are.
When my niece was 4 or 5 ,she was constantly drawing. One of her go-to pictures to draw was the image of the three crosses on the hillside. I asked her about what she was drawing trying to ascertain her understanding of the story. She told me that she always drew three because she learned that Jesus wasn't the only person that died on a cross and we have to "remember the other guys," too.
I encourage those with kids to ask them to tell you the story of Easter - or ask them about their drawings or what they are talking about in Sunday school. It's fascinating:)
Malena, one of our preschool Sunday school teachers here at 6th writes this about telling the story in an age-appropriate way.
" I learned this lesson well the first year I tried to teach it to a group of preschoolers. I was going to stop at the Good Friday part of the story but then I looked out at all of their little faces and they all looked absolutely terrified. Needless to say, I continued the story that day. That also showed me just how desensitized we can become to things. I have been hearing that story my whole life and it didn't even dawn on me that these kids were hearing it for the first time."
Read more about Traci Smith and her work at her website: