Today, I was asked to teach a class of rambunctious 8 year olds at our home school co op. The class I was teaching was a drama class. This particular play I was assigned to teach was a Native American folklore adaptation, How the Bear Got His Short Tail. The story begins by telling us that the bear had a long flowing tail long ago. However, he was tricked by a fox to stick his long tail through a hole in the ice to fish. However, he had his tail in so long that when he tried to stand up his tail snapped off. Cute story, but I believe that it could allow room for questioning that God and God alone was responsible for all creation and that evolution was not a possible explanation.
Since this nation just "celebrated" Darwin's birthday last week, I thought it prudent to explain that this story was folklore and not plausible as I pointed out that if one bear lost a tail, would that mean that ALL subsequent bears would have short tails? A few kids thought it was possible. I then asked them if I accidentally cut my arm off, does that mean all females will be born without an arm? The lights came on and they recognized immediately that this would not be possible. Touching briefly on Darwin, I explained that likewise animals did not change from one species to another and that if an injury occurred it would not adversely effect all others subsequent animals in that group. I explained that God is the Creator and that no other explanation is true.
One girl raised her hand and shared that she had a friend whom she was very close to. However, this little girl and her mother did not believe in God. The two moms had a parting of ways because they did not share the same beliefs. She then went on to say that she told her friend about God and that her friend believed but that she was still unable to play with her anymore because her friend's mom didn't believe. She said she didn't know what to say to her friend. I commended her for sharing the Gospel.
The whole group, was totally quiet and still, which was highly unusual. I explained that if they didn't know what to say that they could share this example with whomever they are witnessing. I told them that just as they understand that an artist paints a painting, and a builder builds a building, the creation exists only because there was a Creator.
I told them that the Bible says that the fool has said in his heart there is no God. Then we talked about how kind and compassionate it is for people to share their faith with others if they truly are concerned for their welfare. I asked them, "Where do people go if they don't accept Jesus by faith?" They all knew it was hell. I asked if they understood what a person would have to do to go there? Their answer: be bad. I was able to share with them that if they had told just one lie or not obeyed their mother and father even once, that if they grow up and never put their faith in Christ and repent then on Judgement Day God would be obligated to punish them and that would mean hell. They understood and in fact, some were chiming in about what their parents had told them about hell. (It's a Christian school group)
I shared with them that just because others may think they are crazy for sharing Jesus that we should never quit. I used an example to help them understand by saying if they saw a person waving their arms back and forth in the middle of the road you may believe they were a little strange until you found out that the bridge was out up ahead and they were warning you of the danger. That person may look silly only until that person driving in the car understands the certain danger that lies ahead. I explained the entire Gospel message from start to finish to them and there were a few that understood things they never had before.
I believe I was given a privilege today to help either plant or cultivate seeds in the hearts of these children. I will never know this side of eternity if the simple explanation of the Gospel will make a difference for one of these children. I believe we always need to be prepared to give an answer for our hope, even to children.