Monday, April 2, 2007

A First Easter

Last year, around this time, Nick and Jacob watched a National Geographic special about Good Friday in the Philippines. A Filipino man was willingly crucified in a re-enactment, although he did not die. The show left deep marks on Jacob. Nick, a non-Catholic and non-practicing Christian, was at a loss to explain. He managed a "that man believes that being crucified will bring him closer to God." He deeply regrets watching the show with Jake - Nick just did not realize how much Jacob would be affected. Jake had nightmares for a few weeks, and has talked about it on and off for the past year. I think Nick had nightmares too when he realized what had happened. But we talked about it and talked about it and talked about it, and I think that Jacob has as thorough an understanding as any five year old can. And this lent, Jacob has been making big strides in his faith. Yesterday was Palm Sunday. Jake was excited about the palms and the procession. He understood about Jesus riding into Jerusalem and relished the procession. I half-think he was expecting a donkey to ride by! Once we were settled inside, I sent Jake off to the Children's Liturgy and listened to the passion myself. A little while later, Jacob came back with a construction paper palm leaf. He had drawn on it. I bent over to look at it closely. "That's Jesus with the cross. And see? I drew this other path. He's going to go the wrong way and then he won't die on the cross." The kind lady behind us gasped a little bit. I might have as well. But then it was time for the Lord's Prayer and we moved on. So, in many ways, this is Jacob's first Easter. I'm trying very hard to explain the resurrection as thoroughly as the crucifixion. It is hard. The sad truth is that suffering is easier to understand than salvation But I will persevere. I will find a way. If my boy is going to understand sacrifice, he's going to understand love too.

3 comments:

Katie said...

Christy, I recommend (for you) "Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis. I don't think specifically to deal with this issue, but in general, I think you would dig it.

Kelley said...

That's such a hard concept to explain, without having the kids hone in on the gore factor, isn't it? Connor's questioned it a few times and I've somehow halfway answered it to his satisfaction. Focusing on the love factor is an excellent approach. Our last big faith question was about how could Jesus have two fathers -- the one in heaven and Joseph.

cheribear said...

Madeleine's revelation was "But BUNNIES don't make EGGS!!!"

We obviously have a long way to go with the faith aspect of it right now. I'm just waiting until she's older for Easter - its not easy like Christmas. Not by a longshot.

He already has great empathy, and he thinks deeply about what he's learning with respect to his faith. That's pretty incredible for such a little guy.