Friday, November 30, 2007

Why do we pray at meals?

There has long been a list if the funny things kids say about God. I've got a couple to add:

To the bishop who held the wine chalice for my then two-year-old son at communion: "I no yike dat". Same son, now 8, can't wait for communion!

To the Seminary President who asked in a children's sermon, "Why do we pray before meals?" middle son answered ,"So the food has time to cool down." This does help explain the belief that one need not pray over cold food.

Noah, the one in the middle of the photo, sees God's hand in everything. He usual prayer at bedtime thanks God for "Everything you have created and everything you will create." Sort of paints God who Was, who Is and who Shall Be in full color. Noah finds the story of Jesus in most of his books, and loves to tell the story.

Jonah, on the right, considers God to be as real as Grandma. Heaven is someplace not too far away and full of good food, because God might get hungry. Jonah's God gets sad, and happy, and hungry. After discovering that he came from mommy's baby belly, and mommy came from Grandma's baby belly, Jonah stated that the very first people must have come from God's baby belly. This dovetails very neatly into his belief that God gives all babies hearts so they can love God.

Miriam, the little one on the right, is hanging on every word her brothers say. She joins in prayers at mealtimes, with her "Jesus, Amen" and sings Hale, Hale, Hale, Luiah, in the car on the way home from wherever. It won't be long before her precious sayings are gracing this blog.

I wish I could say it was because we are pastor/parents that our kids are like this, but I don't think so. I'm not even as good as my parents were at getting our kids around the table for Advent devotions. I remember listening to a little devotion at breakfast in the morning as a kid, and we're lucky to pray over breakfast. (It's usually cold food, you know!)

I think it's because we talk about God as one of the family. Sure, this member of the family created the world and all that is in it, but Jesus shows up at the dinner table and back-seat conversations. We have several bible story books at home, but we also read Dr. Suess and the Berenstine Bears.

In other words, don't think it's only the Pastors Kids who say this sort of stuff, it's the ones who ride in the back seat of your minivan. It a good reminder to remember that whatever you say, they hear!

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