“Is that God?” my five year old brother asked my mother pointing to Father Fulton.
“No, sweetie that’s our priest.”
“Then where is God, Mom?”
“He’s everywhere, honey. He’s in you and me and finds his home in heaven.”
Although, my brother asked my mother that question decades ago, I still remember how much easier it was to identify the priest as God as opposed to imagining the man who died for us on the cross. A man I had never met or seen. A man who was so much more than just a man.
My mother was asking my brother to have faith in God, in His existence, and to accept and believe that even though my brother wasn’t able to see God in the flesh He was real and the church’s teachings were true.
I remember my seven year old self finding it funny that my brother thought the priest was God. But I understand why my brother was confused. I was confused too. I knew there was an amazing individual who had done great things for us who found His home in heaven. But I too had a hard time explaining or understanding why we couldn’t see Him or hear Him on demand. Why couldn’t we travel to see Him?
My mother explained that we had to have faith.
Ask? What is faith?
Faith can be a difficult concept for small children to grasp. It certainly was for my brother and I at the tender ages of five and seven. I can only imagine it is just as challenging for my own preschool children.
This simple activity included in “God Is the Healer Series: The Miracles of Jesus” from Experience God is an excellent method for introducing the idea of faith. Through concrete motions we are able to demonstrate what it means to have faith.
- 3 bowls (or boxes)
- ball – small enough to fit in one of the bowls or boxes
- Invite each child to name a friend or family member that is not currently in the room.
- Ask if this person is real. How do they know? We cannot see the person.
- Show a ball. Hide it under one bowl. Mix up the bowls.
- Invite a child to find the hidden ball.
- Repeat so each child has a turn.
Faith is believing even if you do not see it.
When we pray, we must have faith that God will hear and heal us according to his will.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
My children enjoyed this activity and really responded to the idea that just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or isn’t real.
My hope is that my children will be able to feel confident in their faith and maybe just maybe not mistake the priest for God. And no, my brother never heard the end of it – nor, will he, he’s thirty seven now 🙂
We found this exercise to be a great way to help the kids define and understand faith.
If you too find this activity beneficial and are looking for additional ways to facilitate conversations about the bible and faith in your home school check out Experience God!
The image below is perfect for saving on Pinterest!