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“That Wasn’t Really Nice of God”

(picture originally uploaded to Flickr by speartoons)

Recently, my pastoral apprentice and I have switched roles on the weekend. She is now running the elementary end of things and I am running the early childhood end. This means that I am the large group teacher for the junior and senior Kindergarten class (in Ontario, there is junior Kindergarten for four year olds and Senior Kindergarten for five year olds).

Anyway, yesterday we looked at the story of Jonah learning how we should do what is right. While we were watching the story, one of the children piped up on the part where God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah, “That wasn’t really nice of God to make a fish swallow Jonah!”

I couldn’t help but stifle a laugh and smile. While I did not answer the child then because I was so tickled, what I wish I had said was, “You are right that probably wasn’t the nicest thing for God to do. Is God supposed to always be nice?… God may not always be nice, but he does always promise to be with us just like he stayed with Jonah even thought Jonah disobeyed him.” Then who knows where the conversation would’ve gone from there… maybe about how he saw a firetruck the other day. I love four and five year old minds!

It was another reminder that we don’t always have to whitewash everything and correct children. It’s OK for them to wonder and ask questions about God that don’t make sense to them. I think we lose that wonderful gift as we get older.

What are some fun questions or stories or bits of wisdom you’ve learned from the children in your life lately?


3 Responses to ““That Wasn’t Really Nice of God””

  1. jcisonline July 15, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    I had a kid this past Sunday say that he didn't like our church. He was used to singing songs out of the songbook and being able to take turns reading out of the Bible. Same day our lesson was Jesus as a little kid going to church.

    Anyway we talked about church philosophy and why we teach that way and sing the songs that we do at our church. It was awesome. Allowing him to think about how people do different things at different churches and that as long as they stay true to the word of God then they are all great ways of doing church. Made us both think of how and why people do church different ways.

    • henryjz July 15, 2009 at 10:01 am #

      That is a neat story. I love interacting with kids and hearing from them and conversing with them. I find that God has a way of using those comments to help us get to the point :)

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