I love hanging out with kiddos. There is no better way to laugh until you cry, and strengthen all nine fruits of the spirit in your life like being in a room of kids for an hour. They keep your toes light, your heart soft, and your brain sharp. I currently serve with the children in our church every Sunday. It's one of my greatest privileges.
One of my favorite things to do with them is play a game I created call "Triple Q". Basically I ask them three questions. Some silly, some serious, but all with the purpose to get them talking so I can listen. (Pro tip for those who want to disciple kids well. Ask them questions and meet them where they are. Lecturing is great for brain work but not heart work. But that's for another blog another day.) Some of my top "Triple Q questions" to really get to know a kid include :
If you could have any super power what would it be?
How many pets do you have?
If you created the world's best candy bar what would be in it?
Where were you the day you invited Jesus to be the leader of your life?
How do you get home from school?
How many cavities do you have?
If you were going to play a character in a Disney movie, who would you want to play?
What's your favorite day of the week?
These are all fun winning questions, but hands down, my absolute favorite question to ask is....
“If you could take any Bible hero to Chick-Fil-A for an hour who would you take?“
Whoa, this one is FUN! I love watching these kids think deeply and answer passionately. (It also is a great way to see their Bible knowledge.)
These are real answers I've heard:
"I'd eat with Samson, so he would protect me with his strength!"
"I'd eat with Jonah, to ask him if he threw up in the stomach of the whale."
"I'd want to talk with Eve, to ask her what in the world was she thinking?!"
"I'd choose Paul because he rode a camel."
The list goes on and on. Inevitably, and hopefully, more than one child will answer with JESUS! I always love it when this happens because then it is an open door for a great mini lesson. "Sorry bud, you can't pick Jesus."
The little eyes widen and jaws drop until one is brave enough to rebuttal, "Why?"
"Because Jesus isn't dead, so you can talk to Jesus any day. He's excluded from this hypothetical game." Instantly you'll start to see the wheels turn in their heads and hearts.
Just for clarity, I know we can't talk to Jesus of Nazareth in the flesh. I agree that THAT would be the lunch of a lifetime to look in those eyes and watch the interactions that take place during a meal with Jesus in the flesh. I'd love to see if Jesus is a regular or spicy chicken sandwich type of guy. What I'm referring to is being able to freely have fellowship with Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, because of the finished work of the cross. All of those other Bible heros are dead; we can't talk to them. But Jesus is alive! We can dialogue with Him. We can pause in our day, at our tables, and on our drives to ask a question and be still to listen to His response. We can get His wisdom and opinions on matters. We can receive His encouragement! (Which is always perfect might I add) You can ask Him how to parent your child. You can ask Him how He handled betrayal. You can ask Him what His thoughts are about the person you're dating. The fact that Jesus is living isn't a "perk" just so our Christian Faith can have a fancy tag line or flowy lyric in a hymn. He is ALIVE so that we can have friendship with God. And yet so many of us forget about this powerful truth. When was the last time you dialogued with your friend Jesus?
In the nativity story we see Joseph and laboring Mary looking for a place to have baby Jesus. After being turned away multiple times they arrive to an Inn. This inn had no room, so they ended up having their baby in the barn in the back. Although ancient in story, this truth is very relevant today. In many ways our lives are giving the message, "Sorry Jesus, there's no room in our inn for you." Our days are already occupied with parties and scrolling, shopping and driving, baking and giving and all together wonderful things. But when we look up and realize, we actually have fit everything but Jesus into our hearts and home, it can be a red flag.
December, in the Christian faith, is a time to intentionally pause and think about Jesus in our lives. And yet sadly, December seems to be the biggest culprit of all in keeping Jesus out. We shop and sing and drive and eat and watch and post and yet somehow look up at New Years Eve and realize we never paused one second to dialogue about our faith with Jesus, with family, with friends. It's SO SAD. In many ways it's like we're planning this huge birthday party for Jesus and then not letting Him come to His own party.
"Sorry Jesus, we only have 31 spots at this December table and they've already been filled with cookies and movies and plays and shopping and driving and spending and decorating."
I'm not trying to be Mrs. Grinch over here. I love and do all of the "Christmas" stuff. Well not all of it but I'm a fan of Christmas cheer! Look at my stockings with snowmen to prove it!
The point I'm trying to get across is that if we aren't careful, the month will get away and we won't give Jesus one second of thought or time because we're busy with everything else. This Christmas season, let's commit together to erase the sign on our lives that say, "There's no room for Jesus here." Let's carve out space to talk to Him, to listen to Him, to ponder on Him, to celebrate Him. Let's set time on our calendars now to talk about Jesus with our family. Let's start new Christmas traditions focused on all the gifts Jesus has given us this year and visa versa. I'm challenging you in your shower, in your living room, on your drive to work, think about Jesus. Ponder about His life. Daydream about how He describes your life to others. Enjoy His company just as you would enjoy a friend at a Chick-Fil-A lunch.
I truly believe that this could be your best most fruitful December ever! I believe your friendship with Jesus can grow into something so strong and special with just a few intentional moments.
So to kick off your December, pretend that we're enjoying a cup of coffee or tea together and let me ask you my triple Q for the evening: (And a great list for conversation with those you love.)
1. What's your favorite holiday movie?
2. If you took a Bible hero out to Chick-Fil-A, who would you want to dine with? (You know I had to, it's just too good of a question!)
3. One being the farthest, ten being the closest, how would you rate your relationship with Jesus Christ right now? (Not your relationship with the church or with your pastor or priest, but with Jesus Himself.) I hope you're inspired to ask and listen, to involve Jesus in your daily December, and most importantly to enjoy this wonderful miracle season with intentionality. Cheers to Creating Space In Your Inn, Abby P.S. Don't forget, the Cirkles are cheering you on!