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Tell the Redemptive Story

Help children discover their place in both the joyful and painful parts of the biblical narrative.

Brooke is an 8-year-old girl full of energy. She loves to dance, loves to play, and is fiercely loyal to her friends. Every year as we begin to tell the stories leading up to Easter (about the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus), Brooke becomes visibly upset. She is angered by the behavior of the Pharisees. She is so mad at Judas. She is visibly shaken by the death of Christ. Brooke feels these painful stories from the Bible very deeply.

Alex is a 4-year-old boy who loves puzzles, loves to play with his friends, and can barely contain any sort of excitement. Recently his mom told me that after hearing the story of Judas one Sunday morning, Alex came home talking about Jesus' mean friends who put nails in his hands and hurt him. His conclusion: "We need to come inside our house and shut the doors so Jesus' friends won't put nails in us!"

Brooke and Alex (not their real names) exemplify the challenge we face when we approach difficult Bible stories with children. Children can misinterpret ...

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