Jonathan and I had a good homeschooling day today!
We spent part of it with the local homeschooling group in the Performing Arts Club monthly drama class. I watched them play and perform this afternoon and thought, "he is full of joy!". He was beautiful! (If I do say so myself).
Later we went for a walk around the apartment complex and I decided to talk to him about the Christmas story he's been learning as he prepares for the Christmas pageant. I have been reading a book called the First Christmas, by Marcus Borg. In short, it makes a pretty convincing argument that much of the Christmas stories, one in Matthew and a different one in Luke, were written as parables with the intention of making the point that Jesus was the Lord, the Savior, instead of Caesar Augustus or any other Roman ruler.
And I already had become much more liberal in my beliefs. I don't believe that the Bible is inerrant or infallible.
But this is the first time I've reconsidered the Christmas stories in light of this shift in thinking!
And I wondered what, if anything, to say to my 6-year-old son, Jonathan. As we walked, I decided to just make a brief comment or two about how sometimes people teach by making up examples that make a point ("if someone is hurt, you should help them", etc) and that point or lesson is important even if the story used by the teacher isn't true. Then, I said that the Bible does that, too, sometimes by using what's called "parables", and that it's possible that that is true even of the stories about how Jesus was born.
Yes, his eyes started to glaze over! :)
But I just wanted to plant that seed and move on and we did. We talked about what he has learned, so far, about the story. Who Mary and Joseph were, how Mary found out Jesus was going to be born, were Mary and Joseph able to get a room at the hotel?, what the angel told the shepherds, etc.
It was fun talking about it with him!