Today we read the story of the young Jesus staying behind in Jerusalem to talk with the men in the temple. We focused on Jesus' response to his parents, "Did you not know I would be in my father's house?" I asked the girls what other time we hear God talked about as Father. Alessia said in church when we pray. So we talked about how Jesus taught us to pray that way, and how we can think of God as our father, just as Jesus called God his father. We also talked about how we can pray "Our Mother, who art in heaven," because God is neither man nor woman. As something to help us remember to pray to God, we put on the lenten tray a rosary that my father gave me before he died. My kids had never seen a rosary before, but they each have protestant prayer beads so they recognized the rosary as prayer beads.
Alessia goes to a Catholic preschool. I asked her how they start prayers at school. She made the sign of the cross and said "In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen." I told them that some people also say "In the name of the Creator and the Redeemer and the Sustainer," and another way to think about God our Mother/Father is to think about God as our Creator. This tied in to last week when we talked about God as creating us and all people and animals and plants and the whole earth. I asked them if there was something we could put on the lenten tray to help us remember that God is our creator, something else in the house that is alive that God created. We ruled out daddy and the cat as they might get up and walk away. In the end we settled on a house plant.
It's been amazing to me how my kids light up when I tell them that God created them and all people and animals and plants and even the rocks and the dirt of the earth itself. This sense of being connected to God and all of God's creation is very meaningful to them.