A preschooler was asked, “Why did Jesus die?” He replied, “Because the bunny bit him!”
Preschoolers and Easter are a complicated situation. Easter is filled with bunnies and candy in the stores, yet the true story of Easter is so complex and filled with death, life from death, angels, forgiveness and the weight and sin of the world. Those concepts are complex for an adult let alone a three year old!
At my preschool we reenacted the story of Easter including the events of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, the cross, the resurrection and how our current lives intersect with the story. Again, all are in-depth concepts that theologians interact with. However, preschoolers can amaze us at their depth of thinking.
Be ready to see their depth…….
While drinking the grape juice with our bread, a preschooler shared, “Hey, I need MORE juice here!” It is a good Christian theologian who says, “Yes, we do need more blood of Jesus in our lives here!”
Another preschooler took the little communion cup and said, “This is my medicine.” It is also a good Christian theologian who says, “Yes, Jesus can be the medicine I need.”
We shared that when Jesus was here, he told people to take the bread and drink and always remember Him. One preschooler refused to take either. She looked at me and said, “I remember Jesus everyday. I really don’t need to eat anything to remember Him.” Only the deepest spiritual lives remember their source of power at all times without any reminders.
When we passed out the bread, one preschooler shared, “I love honey on my bread, but if this is bread from Jesus, it probably is already really sweet.” Another thing a Christian theologian knows is that everything that does come from Christ is meant to be sweet in your life.
Easter is complex, but it truly is a story that young preschoolers can interpret. A young three year old shared this with his mother today, “Once upon a time, the soldiers took Jesus and put a sharp crown on Jesus’ head and He died. They put him in a cave and they wrapped him up in a big blanket. A lady came and visited Jesus, she was a magic lady and she gave him muscles. The soldiers moved a big stone in front of the cave and then he was locked inside. But He was super strong and moved the Boulder and then he’s not dead. He is, he is alive! He is alive! The people LOVE Jesus. That’s it.”
The first thing I contemplated was the “magic lady” in his version. In talking with his mother, she wondered if the holy spirit resembles magic to a three year old. I have known plenty of adults who do not understand the holy spirit and the true “magical” power it holds. However, the final essence of this Easter story version has a powerful ending. “He is alive! The people LOVE Jesus. That’s it.” I truthfully have never spoken to a theologian who could offer the story of Easter in a more succinct sentence.
By the way, the preschooler who thought Jesus had been bitten by the rabbit, walked out of my school singing the song in the following link. I don’t know if a rabbit was there when Jesus died, but I do know he would have been surprised by an empty tomb.
- What part of the Easter story is hardest for you to believe?
- How would our world be different if ALL people would LOVE Jesus?
- There are a lot of people who only think of a bunny at Easter, is there anything you would be able to do to change that?
- If you could have “magic lady” at your disposal, what would you ask for this Easter?