Introducing young children to the Mystery of the Kingdom of God seems to puzzle most adults. I have to admit that when I first began to ponder the five Parables of the Kingdom that we present to the 3-6 year old children, I felt at a loss. I didn’t understand what these parables told us about the Kingdom of God myself! However, looking back over the past ten years of pondering this mystery with Level I children I am astounded at their insights. I have learned much from them about what Jesus is telling us about His Kingdom…and I know I still have much to learn as we listen again and again to these parables together.
One of the children’s favorite works related to the Kingdom is that of the Precious Pearl or the Pearl of Great Price. When we adults hear this parable we are often struck by the fact that the man sells EVERYTHING for this one pearl. The children, in contrast, are most captivated by the joy of the merchant as he looks at that one most precious pearl. If only we approached sacrifice in the same way, emphasizing the joy of the gift rather than the loss to ourselves. I have so much to learn from these children!
Responses of the children in the past few weeks…
– “He knew God was in the Pearl!” (4 year old child)
– “The Pearl is Jesus.” (4 year old child)
– “He looked at the Pearl and said a prayer.” (3 year old child)