There was an infant baptism today at church. Two of them. It was pretty special. But before the service, I was trying to learn a new song with a kid who has been coming to Sunday school for a while now. The song went a little something like this:
God’s great love, God sent his son to die for us, so that we could know Him (or something like that, I haven’t learned the song very well yet).
Now this song is not perfect – as the following conversation with a child will show – the emphasis on death instead of Christ rising again proved a bit of a downer, but it’s a key part of our faith, and I suppose it’s important to acknowledge no song will ever tell the whole story of our faith.
Here’s a mostly-accurate representation of the conversation with the Little Thinker in second grade, who had just heard this song for the first time.
I wish there was no such thing as people dying.
I wish that in baptism, that something would happen in the water so that you’d get to live forever. I wish that if you were baptized you wouldn’t die.
So, seeing the beautiful heart of God reflected in this young soul, I said, “What’s so awesome is that we believe that you live forever…you die, of course, but after that, you go to heaven, and heaven is like earth except perfect. There’s no tears in heaven.” (I drew my fingers down over my cheeks).
What continent is heaven on? Asked the Little Thinker, who did not like this new information, and seemed dubious. I explained that people used to think heaven was up, but now… well, I didn’t get to that. The Little Thinker interrupted, correcting me –
But you can’t move in heaven. Because when you’re dead you don’t move.
And I said, “But we believe that Jesus died and rose again so that we get to live like Jesus did, it’s called eternal life. You just get to jump and dance and have fun in heaven.”
You’re talking in opposites. Dead people don’t move.
But we believe that there is life after death!
I know my opposites, test me!
What’s the opposite of pepper?
And that was the end of that.