I've taught most ages over the past twenty years, taking breaks occassionally to be with "adults" during the Sunday School hour. To me, the younger ones are the easiest. They accept everything with an open heart and an open mind. And no matter what question you ask, they always answer. "Because Jesus loves me." At least that seemed to be the answer to everything for a three and four-year-old.
For several years I taught sixth graders. For some reason most teachers shied away from this age but I loved it. We had great conversations and they were starting to understand the Bible and God's Word in more depth, and could see how it actually did apply to their life beyond church and in the home.
Now, I am teaching 4th graders. They are a great group of kids, but you can tell they are starting to think a little deeper. Our lesson today was how our earthly father protect us just as Joseph protected Jesus when he took him to Egypt, which moved on to how God protects us all and that by sending his Son we can all be assured of forgiveness.
Then came the question: "Where did God come from?"
I wasn't prepared and certainly not qualified to get into a deep discussion with the children, but I make an attempt. I am supposed to be the teacher, right? "God is God. He has always been and always will be." I know, it was probably a bad answer. Another child pipes up. "But he had to come from somewhere, didn't he?" The questions continued until we all decided that God is so wonderful, so powerful, so amazing that our brains cannot begin to really comprehend all that God is and all that he does for us, but because of faith we are assured of His protection and love. I also encouraged them to talk to the pastor for surely he could answer this question far better than I.
How would you answer the question?
After today I think I am ready to return to the three-year-old classroom where most questions can be answered with my favorite answer - Because Jesus Loves Me.