I had an interesting conversation a few weeks ago with a boy in preschool. I told a story that helps children understand the meaning of the church year and, as is my custom, afterwards we wondered about it.
The story helps children understand how many Christians keep track of time. The year starts with getting ready for and celebrating Christ’s birth. It moves through the life and teachings of Jesus and into a season where we get ready for and celebrate his death and resurrection. It moves then into the celebration of God’s gift of the Holy Spirit, which propels the church to redemptive presence and action wherever God sends us.
The “getting ready” seasons for Christmas and Easter are Advent and Lent, respectively. They are both represented by the color purple on the "church clock."
After I told the story, we engaged in wondering about it. I began by asking them, “If you were in any part of the story, which part would you be in?”
It seems like a complex question for a preschooler, but I assure you it isn’t.
My young friend pointed at the series of 6 purple blocks known as Lent and said, “I would be here.”
I said, “I wonder why.”
He said, “Because everybody dies and that is when Jesus died. He died and came back to life so when we die we will come back to life, too.”
PlayFull offers training in a method of children’s ministry called Worshipful Play. Email Troy if you’d like to explore how PlayFull can help you adopt a similar approach in the spiritual formation of children.