...Interesting conversations going on in our house at the moment.
My children's grasp of the gospel is developing. My 5 year old explains how... 'Jesus is God because when he was born he had God inside him and inside of that is the Holy Spirit and we have the Holy Spirit in us too.' My seven year old was confused by the people behind her at the church's Christmas carol concert because ...'they just didn't seem to get it...they kept talking and we were praising God.'
I'm hoping they're not to going to grow up too pious and I am helping them to understand that God loves us all, he is still just waiting for some people to love him back.
Our bedtime routine, which used to consist of a recap of the day's events before saying, 'Switch off all the lights and shut all the doors, I love you, night, night' has now been replaced with a 'What shall we pray for?' before the 'Switch off all the lights and shut all the doors, I love you, night, night'(!?*).
Daughter two has prayed that her verrucas would go away, all 8 of them, the very next week they disappeared. Daughter 1 has prayed for daddy to get a job, he has. And together we are praying for a chapped hand, a poorly thumb, various friends and relatives and into the random reflections of 5 and 7 year olds as they arise.
So last night we had...'mummy I just don't get it...does Santa live for ever?...He never seems to get old' and they are even wondering if he is omnipotent and omniscient because we've had, 'But he sees you when you're sleeping' and 'he knows when I am awake and whether I have been good or bad.'
So it's a very hard balance, keeping the magic alive but not feeling as though you're involved in some kind of major deception about Santa.
This year we have felt it necessary to include some corrolaries:
- That Santa is a guy with a job and when he retires, probably another chap takes over but mummy can't speak with any real confidence on this issue because she's never seen Santa.
- That all those Santas in the shops are his helpers and some are better at it than others.
- That mums and dads actually have to give Santa a cheque for all the stuff which explains why some children get bigger stockings than others.
- And that some people who only know Jesus as some little baby in a story, without realising he is the Saviour of the world get ever so confused about their theology and confuse Santa with God when they are writing songs to sing...that Santa can not see you when you are sleeping and he will come whether you have been good or bad seeing as 'works righteousness' is really pretty faulty.
Thankfully my kids are certain that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit is/are a much worthier subject for our praises at Christmas time than some guy we have to pay who has trouble fitting down the chimney and decides how good little children have been and awards them accordingly!