Monday, March 31, 2008

Why I Didn't Like the Parade

Last Monday I posted a picture of Bird's class re-enacting the Palm Sunday parade. After the parade, each class also had the chance to pose with 'Jesus' at the front of the school. The sitter (who took all the pictures since I was at work) thought it was cute & got one of Bug as well.



This is what started pinging my radar. I thought it was odd that we were having our children pose with Jesus. In fact, I've always found that kind of odd, even before we had kids. (This guy has been Jesus for everything at our church for YEARS).

I mean, this was Jesus, not Mickey Mouse. It seemed rather.... disrespectful, for lack of a better word.

Although... since I do have my kids pose with any character we come across at various theme parks, maybe it does really does make sense. Considering our culture today, I bet lots of people would pose for pictures with Jesus. So even though *I* think it's weird, maybe that's not so odd after all.

The more I thought about it, however, the more the parade continued to bug me. When it comes down to it, I think it's misleading to tell the kids this part of the story (and have them act it out) without telling them everything.

Do I want her to know everything at this point? Absolutely not. She knows that some people were angry at Jesus, hurt him, but God made him better and now he's alive again. And that's all she really needs to know at this age.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, Palm Sunday celebrates the day Jesus made his final trip to Jerusalem. To celebrate his arrival, many people rushed forward to greet & praise him. They lined the streets with palms so that his feet would not get dirty. They gave him a donkey to ride on for the same reason.

These are the same people who, less than a week later, called for his death in the ugliest way possible - by crucifixion. Mob mentality at its worst.

Now, just to be clear - I do not have issues with children playing dress-up. My kids love to dress up. I think there is a big difference, though, between dressing up like a princess (and a cheerleader, and Mary at Christmas) or dressing up like a future raving lunatic. And really, the issue is not with the kids themselves. Kids love to dress up & act out stories.

But.

I do not let them dress up as scary/mean/ugly (in an angry/hateful way) characters on any given day, so why in the world did I let her dress up as part of that crowd? (To be honest, she didn't really know what was going on anyhow, and it would have made her sad not to dress up, so I let her.)

Like I said before, it's not like I go around telling my preschooler the full graphic details of the entire story. I want her to retain her innocence for some time yet.
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