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on teaching kids faith

"Mama, can you tell me about Jesus?" Harvey asks while I'm cooking dinner.

Most evangelists wait a lifetime for such a layup.

"You wanna hear about when Jesus was born? Or about grown-up Jesus?" I ask.

"Grown up Jesus."

"Well," I say, wondering how much detail I can convey without burning onions. "When Jesus was 30 he went to his cousin John the Baptist to be baptized in the Jordan river. And when he did the sky split open and a bird came down from heaven. Well, it was like a bird but it was really the spirit of the Lord, and a voice came down from heaven saying, 'You are my son, my beloved, with you I am well pleased.'"

"Can you tell me more of that story, Mama?"

"Well, after that Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and was tempted by the devil. Then he came out and began his ministry."

"Can you tell me more bout that?"

"Jesus walked around from town to town and healed everyone he met who was sick, and helped people with whatever they needed, like if they were hungry he made them some food, or if they wanted to know the right way to live he told them what to do, which was to follow him."

"Tell me more!"

"Then the jewish leaders didn't like what he was saying, so they had him killed after kind-of a puppet trial, they killed him on a cross which is called crucifixion."

"Oh," Harvey says giggling. "Can you tell me more of that story?"

"He went to the place where the dead are, and on the third day he rose, which is to say he came back from the dead. He was resurrected. And people say Jesus died for all our sins, and if you believe in him you're what's called 'saved.' You could be saved too if you want, Harvey."

Suddenly Harvey's face turns ashen. "I DON'T WANT TO!" he yells.

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