Talking Theology with Kids at Breakfast
By: Ryan Lynch
The Scene: Sitting around table with W ( an 8 year old), A (a 6 year old) and B (a 4 year old). Yogurt is in the bowls. Eggs are cooking on the stove. Fresh coffee is in my cup.
Me: Can you guys help me with something? I am trying to write about what is important about Christmas. What do you think?
W: Christmas is important because Jesus was born.
A: Yup, that’s what I said the last time you asked the question.
Me: Ok, so why is that important?
B: Christmas is important because of Jesus. And presents. Santa comes and puts presents all over the house. Santa is magic. He goes “Ho Ho Ho” and plop he is down the chimney.
Me: Wait, no. Santa is not magic. He was a real person that…
B: SANTA IS MAGIC! HE GOES DOWN CHIMNEYS AND PUTS PRESENTS ALL OVER THE HOUSE! But the Grinch also goes down chimney but he takes presents every year. He has these spring walking shoes that go “boing, boing,”.
A: (Laughing) No B. I think the presents are important because the remind us to give to others.
Me: That’s neat way to think of it A. That one of the important things of Christmas is to
remember to think and give to others.
B: BE KIND!!!!!!!!!
Me: Yes. What else is important about Christmas?
A: Well, not the Christmas tree.
Me: I like the Christmas tree!
A: Yeah, but it doesn’t help us remember Jesus. It is just for fun.
W: The Christmas tree is important for the Christmas Star. Where would we put the Christmas Star without a tree?
A: The Roof!
B: On 200 chairs?
W: No. You can’t do that. The star is important because the wise men followed the star to find Jesus.
Me: Good point W. So the star is the guide to follow to find Jesus. I think the Christmas tree reminds me of the light of God I find in Jesus.
A: I guess so.
Me: So we think Christmas is important because it is celebrating when Jesus was born. Some of the traditions that we think are important are gift giving modeled after Saint Nicholas who was not magic but a faithful Christian that gave to people, especially children, in need so they would know God loves them.
B: he is magic
Me: And we talked about the tradition of the Christmas tree which is a lot of fun AND can remind us of the light of Christ and the Star that guides us to Jesus. Are there any other traditions that are important?
W: Riding in a one horse open sleigh!
B: How about a flying horse! Do you know the flying horse?
W: OH!!!! I KNOW THE PRESENTS! The wise men gave presents when Jesus was born. They brought gold, frankincense and myrrh.
A: Are those helpful gifts?
Me: Well, sort of. They would have been helpful and they are also symbolic of…
A: If I were going to travel a long journey and had just a little space on a camel to bring things I would only bring helpful gifts.
Me: Like what?
W: So you can get in the lake and start preaching like Jesus?
B: NO TOY BOATS!
At this my cup was empty and was time to fill up again. As the discussion turned from the importance of Christmas to what they would do on the boat I gave thanks for the time to remember through our traditions, whether we understood them or not, and through our fellowship that Jesus is God’s gift to us. While not magic, it is a miraculous thing we can not only experience but share with others. Why is Christmas important to you? What traditions help you remember Jesus?
Pastor Ryan Lynch