What is this world my kids are growing up in? How can I talk with my kids about the protests and violence in Minneapolis? Where do I start to help my kids understand how complex the world is?
This week’s message is specifically for parents, though we would highly recommend that middle and high school students would join us as well. Just to forewarn you some of the video content we captured in Minneapolis may be difficult to watch for sensitive viewers.
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
1. Find out what your kids know and understand (about any subject) by asking open-ended questions. What do you think about what is happening in this world right now (COVID-19, what’s happening in Minneapolis)? What do you think happens when we die? Why do you think people are afraid?
a. Ask personal questions: What do you think about when you hear someone is sick? Has cancer? Is dying? Does it make you afraid? Tell me what makes you afraid??
2. Consider what they are revealing about their own concerns and fears. It informs your response. Some children worry more about losing a loved one than getting sick themselves. Others fear dying or pain; some worry that they do not know what it will be like in heaven, or if they will go there.
3. Keep your ideas and answers clear, honest, and hope-filled. As stated earlier, God is in control. Nothing can touch us that God has not allowed. He also will choose to use everything in our lives for good–even the hard stuff.
4. Keep these conversations ongoing. Kids are always processing new things at different stages. Revisit the conversation a few days, months, and years later to see how they have processed it and what further questions or ideas it has brought up for them.
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"O great God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who created all things, the God above all gods, the God who was, and is, and is to come, the God who never changes, the God who never slumbers nor sleeps, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy upon us.
We are in the midst of a global pandemic. More than 100,000 lives lost in this country alone. We hear of new cases, new hospitalizations, new deaths each day.
Lord have mercy.
24 Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
What happened this past week in Minneapolis, and then around the country and world was and is very complex with many multifaceted issues at work. While racism was not the only issue that was involved in the tragic events of this past week, we do believe that the sin of racism still has toxic roots in the soil of our country. This horrible situation in Minneapolis continues to show us how much farther we have to go towards peace and reconciliation. Parents, here are some resources to help you personally think through the complicated issue of race and racism, as well as why and how to talk about these realities with your kids:
The Gospel in Color (ePub book for Children) - Hardcopies are sold out
The Gospel in Color (ePub book for Parents) - Hardcopies are sold out