Since Easter, in my Sunday School Class we have been talking about the garden of Eden.
Yes, that is a long time to talk about a garden, maybe. But… God’s plan for the world, for people, for animals. I found it quite amazing and I’m glad the kids seemed to feel the same way, but, So many questions!
Jesus said,”I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”
Now I have been told that the meaning of this is that you have to have un-questioning faith. That you just accept.
Ummm… Have you ever spent any time around children? Starting at toddler-hood a favourite word is “Why?”
The ball is round
Because in order for it to roll smoothly and in the direction that you want it to roll it needs to be.
Because, if it wasn’t round then when you kick it it would just go a way that you didn’t mean for it to.
Umm - I just told you why, Twice!
Because you asked me to
Because you are very curious.
Because you are a child, you want to know all there is to know and you want to know it right now and apparently you want me to tell you!
I don’t know, But I don’t have all the answers.
Cos… I’m not God!
My own kids, and my church kids have so many questions and often - I just don’t have the answers and I won’t pretend to either, but I will do my best to encourage them to keep asking questions, keep looking for answers.
Whoever seeks shall find. They will know so much more than I do. Thank Goodness.
Maybe also Jesus was talking about the enthusiasm of a child. I watched their faces light up as they learned about this perfect place before sin. I showed them a drawing of the garden, one child piped up,
“That’s silly! there’s a fox lying down beside a rabbit, that wouldn’t happen”
“There was no death in the Garden of Eden, the rabbit was perfectly safe to lie with the fox”
The rest of our short lesson consisted of the kids talking about which animals they would put together if life was like it was then. Their imaginations were going nuts!
We came back to that many many times over the next few weeks, I have shared stories of the exploits of my cat Max, whose favourite thing ever is to devour small animals and have heard many stories of their own pets and the blood and gore they get into!
If only life could be as it was at the beginning. You can see the longing in them. For perfection, for freedom, for that ability to walk in the garden with God.
Last Sunday we talked about how the people were sent from the garden, we talked about bloodshed and shame and him blaming her and… it was very quiet in the room.
At craft time we had clay Snakes and pictures of Adam and Eve sad and shameful with their leaves and furs. One boy just looked at his paper and said, “I want to draw but I don’t know what to draw”
“What part of the story sticks in your mind from today?”
“I don’t know”
“Okay, just take a little time and go over the story in your mind and as you are doing that, ask yourself how you feel and try to see if you can get that feeling onto the paper”
This is his picture: