I had one of those cringe moments Sunday morning as I was teaching the 4 & 5’s class during church. We were talking about sin and how we all do it. The kids were talking about how they kick, get angry and lie, etc. I said, “Mrs. Melody sins too.” Of course I wasn’t exactly ready to start listing them so freely and childlike but one of the girls said, “Like what! What do you do?”
I wasn’t prepared for this and I was suddenly thinking of the most sanitized sins I wanted to share with my class. So I said, “Well, sometimes I …..” and right at that moment this sweet little boy interrupts and says, “Um, Mrs. Melody, in Sunday School this morning Sophie (my daughter) told Mrs. Amy (Sophie’s Sunday School teacher) that her Mom, um, her Mom, um…..”
At this point I’m sweating bullets and wonder what my daughter might have felt compelled to tell her entire Sunday School class regarding my sin. I’m mentally backtracking through the morning. Did I yell at anyone, kick the dog, say a bad word or honk at someone on the way to church? Not that I could remember. Not to say it hasn’t ever happened.
Finally this sweet little boy finishes his statement. “Sophie said that her Mom’s Mom was sick and in the hospital but she came home but we still need to pray for her.”
Relieved that a list of my personal sins were not rattled off in Sunday School I said, “Oh yes, you are so right and thank you for bringing that up. She would love your prayers.” The little boy then says, “Mrs. Melody, we should do it right now. We should pray for her now. I’ll do it.”
So we stopped in the middle of our lesson about sin and took a divine rabbit trail and prayed for my Mama who is feeling much better but still was prayed over by a sweet group of 4 &5’s. I looked at this little boy and said, “You just led our entire class in prayer and I’m so proud of you and I’m thankful you did that. I will call my Mom today and tell her you prayed for her.That was a special gift you gave to me.” He smiled the biggest grin and I almost cried in class.
And then we went back to discussing my sin. Oh fun. I said something about my sin of complaining and not obeying God and my kids would say, “Oh yeah, I do that too.One time I ……” They were so open with their mistakes and sin. There was no condemnation but a sweet childlike simplicity of admitting their own sin and being okay that I’m a sinner too. It was refreshing and so unlike adults in church. We squirm, don’t we, when personal sin is brought up. If we must, we choose to talk about the respectable sins like complaining, not being thankful, worrying, etc. which are all sinful but seem more acceptable to us for some reason. Sometimes we are slow to identify with other people when they discuss their sin. We’d rather be the ones to offer prayer for them than to admit we get tripped up by the same sin. So my 4&5’s taught me a lot this Sunday morning. I want to be as unreserved and open as they are. I’m pretty sure this has to do with the child like faith Jesus references in his talks with people in the Bible.
I was describing to my kids how God says he forgives as far as the east is to the west and how he forgets our sin when we confess our sin to him. And how comforting that is. This same little boy says, “Yeah, and it’s so cool. He’s the only one that can do that.”
It was a great day in Junior church. I think I’ll go back next week to see what else they teach me.