Wednesday, April 13, 2016

God Bless The Bees

This year, I have a combined group of 17 preschool and kindergarten kids for Bible and praise & worship each morning. They consistently amaze me with the depth of their understanding, their use of background knowledge, and their grasp of abstract, complex concepts at such a young age. The longer I teach preschool, the more I understand what Jesus meant when he said,"Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

As adults, we like to compartmentalize everything in life: work, school, family, "quiet time", play time, spiritual, non-spiritual, etc. But there are no such distinctions in the world of a preschooler. Everything is fluid and inter-connected. It makes perfect sense to them to be singing "Our God is an awesome God..." while building a zoo with blocks and tiny animals, or transition seamlessly from The Banana Boogie (MGT's fall In the Orchard CD) to Holy Spirit Blow Me Away during music and movement.

This month, the Experience God theme is all about prayer, as illustrated in the Easter story. We are learning this week about prayers of intercession and petition. I explained a petition as a request for something to be fixed or changed. After we discussed it for a few minutes, I suggested we practice saying a prayer of petition, and asked the children if they had any ideas of things that they wanted God to fix or change.

Because all of my students are learning English as a 2nd (or 3rd) language, and there's some speech & language delay thrown into the mix, I often get one word answers that require lots of creative inference on my part to ultimately get to the complete expression of a child's idea. In this conversation, I got "earth" and "bees" as a response. After some follow-up questions, I figured out that the student wanted to pray a prayer of petition to ask God to fix the earth, to keep the bees safe, happy, and healthy. Even at five (and younger), they are very mindful of the importance of God's creation. They were also quick to connect the Bible lesson to the weekly learning objectives about bees.

So, while we thanked God for the gift of His son, Jesus, and the sacrifice he made to make a way for us to be part of His family, we also prayed for God to bless the bees with happiness, health, and lots of honey!

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