This week was my turn to teach the kids at Iglesia on Saturday night. The lesson for this week of Lent was on Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. We had great fun acting it out- I brought bedsheets so that we could wrap one of our eight-year-olds up as Lazarus' body (his buddies had quite a good time "burying" him, although there was a bit more "Get way back in your tomb!!! HA, YOU ARE SOOO DEAD!!" than the deep grief and mourning we were trying to convey the disciples would have felt).
In addition to acting it out, we read the story and asked the kids questions to encourage them to put themselves into it. I read to them about Jesus hearing that his very best friend who he loved was sick, of his waiting but then coming back, of seeing Martha and Mary in pain and knowing that Lazarus had died. I read to them that verse which brings me such comfort in my own times of sadness, John 11:35: "Jesus wept".
"See, guys, when Jesus saw that his friend had died, he cried. He loved Lazarus. This story brings me a lot of comfort when I feel sad, because I know that Jesus has felt sad too."
One of our guys really, really likes helping us read. This is great and sometimes slightly problematic as he chimes in pretty often. We love his enthusiasm and are working on limiting the distracting. So I had him right next to me so he could make his helpful comments to me and not to his friends as I read and asked for feedback.
After I said, "I feel better because I know that Jesus wept", he threw the full weight of his second-grade body back against the chair and let out a slight sigh that had "Let me teach you" written all over it. He tugged on my sleeve to make sure I'd seen that he'd thrown his arm in the air.
"Yeah, dude? What do you think about that?"
"Well..." he shook his head. "Well... DUHHHH."
"Duhhhh, Jesus knows what it's like to feel sad. I mean... He was like, BORN here. And I mean, He was here..."
"...Like, before us."
Oh, right. The Incarnation. And God, creator of Heaven and earth. The whole point of the story I claim to live by. So often I do live like it's news to me that I'm still trying out.
Jesus was here before me.
And He knows all things.
And He wept.