I had the most touching spiritual conversation with Jaidin on the way home from church Wednesday night. I asked her about what she learned in Girls GEMS club, like I always do, and she shared her memory verse and a few tidbits from class. And then she got real quiet and said “You know mom, you should have been at chapel today at school. You’d have really liked it”.
“Oh yeah”, I said. “What was it about”?
“It was about Palm Sunday”, she replied. “About how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey, and how the people were so happy to see him, so excited they were waving palm branches and laying down their coats for him. Pastor Riley brought palm leaves, and each of us got some. It was pretty neat. But then he talked about how the same people that were so excited to see Jesus were the exact same people that a week later were yelling ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’ ”
Then she said the most amazing thing to me.
“You know mom, I hope I’m never one of those people who praises Jesus and says I love God, and then turns around when things get crazy and does something like deny him, like those people did.”
Wow! I was blown away. And convicted. Because how many times have I totally been on fire for God, praising Jesus and following after Him, and then BAM! one little change in circumstances or a bad influence from someone else and my tune changes. In my years as a Christian, certainly I’ve gotten better about not being swayed by the wind or tossed about by rough seas. But I still strive to have the kind of faith that is not shaken, no matter the circumstance.
I told Jaidin that I would pray for her to always have faith, to always do the right thing and to never deny Jesus. But I also told her that there will be times when she will probably doubt, and not do the right thing, but God gives second (and third, fourth, fifth…) chances and as long as we’re truly sorry about whatever it was, He forgives us.
She said she knew that and was so glad that Jesus gave us a second chance through the crucifixion. Then she said “Do you think me & you & Daddy could watch the Passion movie?”
I hestitated, because while I think it’s a tremendous movie, I also think it may be a bit too much for an 8 year old.
“How do you know about the Passion of the Christ?” I asked
“Some of the kids in my class were talking about it at recess”‘ she said. “They said it was a movie about Jesus and that it made Riley’s mom cry.”
So I told her, “It made me cry too. I’ll talk to daddy about it. That movie might be a little too graphic for you.”
She was quiet for a minute, and then said “By graphic, do you mean real?”
Then I got quiet. Yes, REAL. That’s exactly what I was thinking.
As I drove quietly for a minute, the Holy Spirit spoke to me.
“The crucifixion WAS real. She’s asking for more than a movie. She’s asking you to help her understand exactly how much her sin cost. To see what all sin cost. Show her.”
I was floored.
So… we’ll be watching The Passion of The Christ soon as a family, and I know that God will prepare her little heart to receive the full message of the Cross (and hopefully not not have nightmares!) If you have kids – have they seen The Passion? What was their reaction. What kind of a discussion did you have as a family afterward?