A Jewish neighbor of mine talked to me early this spring about how he could explain Passover to his inquisitive 4-year-old daughter without either making it sound too grisly or papering things over.
I was confronted by a similar situation at church last month.
My family’s pew is in a transept where there is a large crucifix, one much larger than the one in the sancutary. My 5-year-old daughter asked me why Jesus was on the cross — including “Why did he die?”
Mentally, I took a big breath, then explained that Jesus knew he had to die for us, but that Jesus was wrongly arrested, falsely tried for a crime he didn’t commit, and that back then, when the government killed people it didn’t like, it put them on the cross.
My daughter thought for a brief moment. “Were you around then?” she asked. “No, no,” I said.
Another pause. “Was Mommy around then?”