I've tried to do a good bit of objective thinking lately about the events that best form faith in the lives of children and youth. Maybe I think about it more objectively now than when I was in the pastorate. I was too close to it all then. And every once in a while, I come across a very special event that captures the heart of faith-forming experiences.
Recently, my friend’s grandson was to be baptized. His two "older" sisters, who were four and three, became a very large part of this event. At the baptism service the baptism water was carried into church by grandfather and the two girls, Grace and Lily. They poured the pitcher of water into the baptism basin. The parents had carefully explained to the girls that they should watch closely during the baptism because the pastor would be putting that water on John's forehead in the sign of the cross. It meant that John belonged to Jesus who had died on the cross. The baptism went as planned.
But, after church, when his parents had fastened John in the car seat and were ready to leave the building, Grace looked at John and with alarm exclaimed, "Oh, Mommy, the cross is gone! What happened?"
I'm thinking that Grace's faith took a healthy step forward that morning.
What do you think? What do you see parents doing that captured these teaching moments for children’s faith? Do you have stories that would benefit others?