One morning after breakfast we were just finishing up our Bible reading and prayers—my 5-year-old son finished his prayer with “Amen.” Then he said, “Now let us take a moment to greet one another in the name of the Lord.”
Apparently he does pay attention in church.
A young boy was misbehaving. When his mother got after him, he ran and hid under the bed. Later, when his father got home and heard about the trouble, he crawled under the bed after his son. The boy asked, “Is she after you too?”
We watched proudly as our first child marched off to her very first day of Sunday school. On our way home from church, we were eager to hear how it all went. So we began asking Shannon, then 4 years old, all our questions: “So who is your teacher?” “Who is in your class?” Then—just to see if she remembered the most important part—“What was your story about today?”
“God made the Earth,” she announced. “He made the sun, moon, flowers, trees, and the animals!”
We responded encouragingly. But when she didn’t continue, we asked, “What about making the people, Adam and Eve?”
“No, that’s next week” she announced. And with that, question time was over.
I know what the Bible means!” the young son told his father proudly.
His father smiled and replied, “What do you mean you ‘know’ what the Bible means?”
“I do know!” the son said.
“OK,” said his father, “What does the Bible mean?”
“That’s easy,” the boy answered. “It stands for Basic Information Before Leaving Earth.”
I remember as a child being confused and uncertain about many things I heard from the pulpit and in Sunday school. But one thing I clearly remember being quite sure of was that the epistles were the wives of the apostles.
Last night we read the Bible story of the boy with five loaves and two fish. At the end of every story there are questions. This one was, “What can you give to Jesus?”—to which 4-year-old Max replied, “My vegetables and maybe some fruit snacks!”
Then I said, “What about some of your ice cream?”—to which he replied without hesitation, “If I have a big bowl, then I can share. But if I have a little bowl, then I can’t.”
During a Sunday-morning worship service, a mother tried everything she could think of—including rewards, scoldings, and threats—to get her fidgety 7-year-old to be quiet. Nothing worked. Finally, about halfway through the sermon, she leaned over and whispered something in the little boy’s ear. He immediately stopped fidgeting and sat quietly for the rest of the service.
Afterward a friend sitting in the row behind asked the young mother what she had said to her son. The mother smiled slyly and replied, “If you don’t be quiet, the preacher is going to lose his place, and then he’ll have to start his sermon all over again.”
The Banner staff sent John Calvin on a whirlwind world tour this year in honor of his 500th birthday. Look for photos of his travels on this page each month.
Stuart Williams from Fellowship CRC in Edmonton, Alberta, took this photo of John Calvin against the majestic mountains near Banff, Alberta. Being a longtime resident of Switzerland, John felt right at home. Stuart and his wife, Marian, took John with them on their travels from Edmonton as far east as Emo, Ontario, introducing him to their friends along the way and providing him with an unparalleled birthday excursion.