I believe that children of pastors are God’s gift to provide illustrations for sermons. They aren’t bad for blogs either. While at Universal Studios in Florida last week we took a break from the heat and went in a building in the Jurassic Park section. That’s where my opportunity for deceiving my eldest child took form.
Kids can look into a machine that allows them to see from the viewpoint of a giant dinosaur they are next to. My wife and I decided to have some fun so we told Jessica that she could make the dino speak as well. The way to make that happen, as per Jess’s evil parents, was to growl loudly enough for the mic to pick up the sound. Since it didn’t work, it must have been because she wasn’t doing it loudly enough.
The punch line is, of course, that the dino doesn’t actually make a sound. Jess looked pretty silly. I was thrilled. Very funny!
Jessica really liked a comment I offered in the last sermon I gave. It was based on Hebrews 12 where the author talks about the benefits of God’s discipline on us:
If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. (NIV)
I had the kids in the room plug their ears to elaborate in one way: Dad’s aren’t perfect. According to Hebrews, Dads discipline as we think best and we sometimes get things wrong. And, as the passage indicates, sometimes there can be mixed motives by fathers. We discipline when we’re mad, for instance. Jess didn’t plug her ears like she was told, so she heard the whole thing. I don’t think she’s ever agreed with me more.
But God never has mixed motives. He never makes mistakes. So, when God disciplines you, you can be sure that it is always in your best interest. Pretty cool.
Have fun with your kids this weekend, and feel free to mess with their minds a little bit. You are just living out what the Bible says, after all.