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  • Writer's pictureRev. Christopher Tweel

A Hard Climate

Regardless of our political leanings it is clear that we are living in a time of turmoil and rank unrest. In the midst of that, we have to recall how we address that reality with our children. We make no mistake in assuming that they are affected by the climate as they will absorb what is going on through school, pre-school, overheard conversations, neighbors, friends... We know just how well our kids pick up on everything we say and do! They internalize it and process it -- remember our kids are hard wired to be little learning supercomputers! It fills up most of their time!

In our house we choose to reveal very little of the political climate to our daughter -- and she still comes home with scores of questions from school and just from playing with kids in the neighborhood.

Lucky for us, the historic church is no stranger to times of turmoil and unrest and has clear words for we who are struggling with a hostile climate.

One of the best things we can teach and get our children to resonate with is the solid fact of who is “in charge” of the world. An Easy verse to show them to begin with is the verse from Psalm 21. “The earth belongs to God, and everything in the earth.” Every person, and tree, and rock, and animal. You can even help them see that the Bible is really serious about this idea because Paul quotes it in his letter to the Corinthians. (1 Cor 10:26) If they know that God loves the things that God created (after all, when we draw a picture, or make something, don’t we love it? Aren’t we proud of it? Well, how much more proud and loving must God be to actual people, and trees and animals! Living things!), and that God takes ownership of it all, then surely God will also take care of these things.

Also, a good translation (CEV is great!) of John 12:37-43 could be helpful. Some people trust people more than the trust God. You could list some of the miracles in your own family history that have led you into trust and belief in God (a great one could be their birth!). This helps them see that there are people that don’t trust God, and that lack of trust makes a harder and more fearful life.

Passages from Luke 6:35, and Romans 12:9 can be used in tandem as well to give them the right kind of center. Jesus says that we have to do the hard work of loving people who are hard to love. People the world might label as “bad” or “enemies.” Yet, that is who Jesus was and is still. (You could go back to Psalm 21 here, why does God want us to love “enemies”? Because even though that person is making wrong choices and actions, God still made them, loves them, and they belong to God.” Paul, a great teacher about Jesus to early churches, told us over and over, to be sincere about our love and to “hate” what is evil. (“Hate” we know is like a bad word to kids. You could talk about how the Bible is so serious about this, that it uses the word hate for how w

e should look at being unloving to people.)

And as always. Rely on your church family! As we negotiate these waters, it is ever more important for us to be in community together. Sharing, depending on each other, and making the Love of Christ known to the world. We are called, as a family unit, to witness to the Good News, the loving actions of Jesus in the world. We have a deep responsibility to raise the next generation of Christian disciples to have a core of God's love unshakably at their center. Before patriotism, before being citizens, we are Christians without compromise.

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