Tonight my mother, Jamie and I went to an event at our church, hosted by Jews for Jesus. It was really neat. The man doing the presentation explained the Passover thoroughly, how he accepted Jesus as his savior through researching for a paper he wrote in college and how the Passover celebration points to Christ in so many ways.
I had really wanted to go and I decided we would take Jamie. He was super duper excited about going to the "big church." Our adventures with Sunday school didn't go so well this past fall so we decided to shelve the sunday school thing for a while. Jamie and PopPop LOVE their Sundays together and I cherish their relationship, so, it works out. Jamie and I have been talking about Easter very candidly. I don't mince words with him (and neither do the Easter books written for children.) He knows that Jesus died and that it was very sad and the mean soldiers hurt Jesus very badly.... He knows the entire story from Palm Sunday through to Easter. So today during our preschool group time and then later, we talked about Good Friday and what it means. I explained to Jamie that the last time Jesus ate dinner with His friends is also called Passover and tonight we were going to church to learn all about it. I also explained he would have to sit quietly for a while and I asked him if he was okay with that. He was and was really excited about it. When we arrived at church he had questions about everything, it was great! My mom and I thought it would be a good idea to sit in the front row so Jamie would be more engaged and it worked, much to my surprise.
I was a little nervous when our senior pastor, his wife and 3 children plopped down right next to us. They are sweet wonderful people and would never judge us if Jamie was being silly, but I still got anxious. Well Jamie was ah-mazing! When he had questions he whispered them in my ear. We sang "Jesus Messiah" before the presentation and he kept asking me why we were singing the word "amazing" and I said "because Jesus is amazing!"
And no it wasn't Jamie who got a case of the sillies, it was my mother and me who got them! Mr.Katz, the presenter dude, was talking about how in orthodox Jewish homes 6 weeks before passover they get rid of everything with any sort of leavening agent in it. He was listing things like donuts, cakes, cookies... and then he looked right at Jamie and added that they got rid of "twinkies" too. You know, of course, he was talking about the Hostess Twinkies or whatever they are, but, you see, we refer to Jamie's "manhood" as his "twinkie." OH MY WORD!!! So here we are in the front row, sitting next to the pastor and his family and my mom and I start laughing so hard I didn't know what I was going to do. I bit my lip and inside of my mouth so hard I thought it would bleed. Somehow the twinkie reference went unnoticed to Jamie, but wow, not to my mom and me!!!! Too funny!
So anyhoo, Jamie only asked to get up to pee and he just did such an amazing job. He is such a high energy, spirited little guy, I know the Lord was giving him peace throughout the presentation. Afterwards Pastor Ben and his wife (who don't know us, the church is way too big for them to know everyone personally) turned to Jamie and just complimented up, down and all around and told him what a good job he did. The pastor's wife, Karla started talking to Jamie about Sunday school and how fun it is and their oldest son (who teaches the 3 year olds) ended up taking Jamie to see where the 3 year olds hang out. It was so nice of them to be so kind. And what an exceptional kid Nathan (their son) is! Wow! That is how I hope to raise Jamie.
After we got back from checking out Sunday school I wanted to take Jamie back in the worship center to show him where people get baptized. We have a really nice baptistry at our church that I pray Jamie will be baptized in one day. We took him over and I explained how Jesus was baptized in a river and the baptistry pool is like a river. He asked me if I was baptized and I said yes, but I did it in a river. He asked my mom the same thing and she told him she was baptized right there is this baptistry. I explained that people get baptized when they believe in Jesus and ask Him to save them so they can spend forever in heaven with Him. I had kind of explained this before, but obviously it is a lot for a 3 year old to take in. My mom read the confession of faith "I believe, Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, He is my Lord and I accept as my Savior" and we explained that this is what we believe and what we say when we choose to be baptized. He asked me if I would get in with him and I said I wasn't sure who would get in with him, but it would probably be Daddy that baptized him. I am just so excited for the day when Jamie wants to take the little baptism class and be baptized. I can't wait to throw him a big party afterwards!!!
As we were making our way out we passed by the communion table and Jamie asked if he could go up and look at it. I took him up and he asked, "is that bread?" and I said yes, but its just pretend so we can remember what communion is about. I asked him if he remembered about the last time Jesus and his friends had dinner and if he knew what Jesus said when he broke the bread. "Remember me," Jamie answered. It simply melts my heart that he can take all that I teach him about our Lord and store it in his own heart.
On the way home he was asking about communion. I explained he could have communion too when he understood what it meant to ask Jesus to be his savior. I basically re explained what I said about baptism. It was difficult for him to comprehend what it all means, but I am so grateful he has such a strong curiosity about it. He also mentioned that the "pictures on the church tv of Jesus on the cross were sad." I told him they made me sad too, but the great news is that Easter is on Sunday and we will celebrate Jesus and the fact the he is alive again! Jamie liked that and I asked him if he wanted to come back to "big church" again for the happy part (Easter) and so we are going to bring him with us on Sunday.
As I type this Timmy is in bed reading to Jamie. Jamie's bedtime story request? The Easter story, beginning with the Garden of Gethsemane. He always asks to start there.
I definitely didn't know who Jesus was when I was 3 years old. I am eternally grateful that my son does.
God is good.