At a prayer meeting on Monday I had a revelation that I wanted to share here.
Children’s games may just be the best metaphors for living the Christian life.
Think of what you played in Kindergarden… Simon Says, Monkey See Monkey Do, Show and Tell. For those of you that might be far removed from Kindergarden, allow me to explain a little more.
Simon Says is where a group of kids are given series of directions that they must follow before the next one comes. Some of the directions are rather mundane ‘hop on one foot’ and some are quite bizarre ‘touch your right elbow to your left knee while jumping in a circle’. The last one standing wins. The trick is that you only follow the directions that start with “Simon says…” Following a direction that doesn’t start with that, no matter how forceful a command, results in disqualification. The take away for me is that, as Christians, we have a lot of people telling us what to do, but we need to keep our ears open so we can hear “Jesus says…”
Jesus said, “I only do what I see my Father doing” and I think that is good advice for us as well. Monkey See Monkey Do is just that, imitating the leader of the line to the best of your ability. There is no “winner” in this game, just the fun of imitating the goofy things the leader does. This game teaches me to be less “results oriented” in following Jesus and to instead concentrate on the joy of following and imitating.
Lastly, Show and Tell was Jesus’ primary ministry model. Wherever He went, these two elements came with. Wether He performed a miracle and then preached or the other way around, Jesus demonstrated the Gospel in word and deed. This is my desire as a professional minister, to Show and Tell the Gospel of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
I feel that we in the Church often treat discipleship as a heavy burden and, for that reason, tend to avoid it. But what if discipleship – becoming more like Jesus – looked more like games and childlikeness than the dull monotony of following lists of rules out of duty and obligation? Speaking of children, Jesus says, “The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”