My family and I are regular church attendees. Granted, I get paid to go to church, but even if I didn’t we’d probably be there all the time anyway.
When it comes to explaining Christianity to my daughter, the Christmas Story is easy. So are the stories of Moses, and Noah, and Jonah. They are kid-friendly (if you lightly breeze over the multitudinous death in the first two). They have chases and near-death experiences and bad guys. They make for good Veggietales material.
The Crucifixion and resurrection are a little harder. As a result of my efforts, the following, less-than-successful conversations have occurred this week between me and my 6yo:
Last evening before heading to Maundy Thursday service:
6yo: Why do I have to sit through church on a Thursday?
Me: Because it’s Holy week, and Jesus died for our sins.
6yo: But it’s going to be so BORING!
Me: (snapping at her) if Jesus hung on a cross, you can handle sitting through 45 minutes of church!
Concerning the Last Supper and Communion:
Me: At the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples he was going to die. Then, he gave them bread and wine to eat.
Me: Well, he broke the bread and said it was like how his body will be broken for us.
6yo: Who broke him?
Me: The Romans who crucified him.
6yo: What was the wine for?
Me: It represents the blood that spilled when he died?
6yo: (excitedly) You mean, when they put nails in his hands and blood spurted everywhere?
Me: Um, yes. Exactly.
Concerning Christ’s Suffering:
Me: On Good Friday, we remember how Christ died a painful death for our sins.
6yo: What do you mean, painful?
Me: Well, after being beaten, he hung on the Cross for eight or nine hours.
6yo: Nine Hours! That’s not long at all!
Me: What?! That’s terribly painful.
6yo: I don’t think it’s very long.
Me: Whatever….You know how you don’t like it when Daddy holds you upside down for even a couple seconds? How it makes you uncomfortable? Imagine getting beaten up, having nails hammered into your hands and feet and then hanging on a cross for several hours.
6yo: You mean they hung Jesus upside down?
Me: (exasperated) No, they didn’t….I just mean he was very uncomfortable, like when Daddy holds you upside down and you scream and cry, except much, much worse.
6yo: I still don’t think 8 hours is very long.