Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sanitizing the Bible: Explaining ancient Judaic wedding customs to 3-year-olds

Everyone remember the story of Jesus's first miracle? You know...He was at a wedding and the guests were upset because their celebratory beverages were running low, so he turned water into wine. (Or, if you're Southern Baptist, you can pretend it was "grape juice". Just kidding; I love you crazy fundies.)

Anyway, in my preschoolers children's church this past week, we were talking to the kids about helping our friends, like Jesus helped his in the story. Now, every week as we're telling the story, we ask the kids questions to get them to interact, since it would require sorcery or thorazine to get toddlers to sit still quietly for 10 minutes.

Being that I'm one of the teachers, their answers to questions normally border somewhere between "hilarious" and "disastrous". Fortunately, I was not the one telling the story this week, so all I had to do was try to stifle laughter and wrangle younguns (similar to cat-herding) while my friend taught the kids.

Here's what we got:

Mrs. A: Jesus was going to a wedding with his friends. Do you know what a wedding is?

V (3-years-old, and in her prattling phase): It's when you get may-wied...and you wear a wing...and a neckwace...and a pretty dress.

Okay, well, she at least had the uniform down.

Mrs. A: That's...right. Anyway, the guests at the wedding were sad, because they had run out of wine-

V (interrupting): Oh! I know what that means! Like when you have a toy...and you wine it up so it goes...and then it stops going...and it wuns down...'cause it's out of wine.

Me being the responsible adult leader I am, I can't speak because I'm laughing too hard. I can't look at A because she's trying not to laugh and it'll just make me worse. But God bless her, she kept right on with the story.

Mrs. A: Well...not exactly. This is something different. It's "wine" not "wind".

F (sweetly and innocently): What's wine?

Mrs. A: It's like grape juice...that only grown-ups parties...

By this point, V announced she had to go to the bathroom for about the 4th time, so I missed the rest of the story. But I'm sure A got through it just fine and the kids learned a valuable lesson about helping their friends, just like Jesus helped his friends when they ran out of wind.

Which, is kind of profound, if you think about it. If you're a Christian (I'm not assuming everyone reading this is, and I certainly don't discriminate regardless), then when you're feeling like a toy that's run down, isn't it Jesus who gives you more "wind"? Food for thought. ; )

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