This past Sunday my wife and I along with two other members of our church volunteered to fill-in for kids Sunday School. Due to the hectic holiday schedule taking people out of town all the elementary classes were combined. You can imagine 1st through 6th-graders in the same room for an hour and thirty minutes with leaders who received the lesson plan the day before. Between us we managed to get through it with only a few issues.
One such incident stands out. At the time it was sacrilegious and I was horrified, 24 hours separated from the incident I can see the 5th-grade humor. While the kids were supposed to be playing a game in the back of the room a 5th-grader runs up to the manger (in the front) and pretends to poop on the baby Jesus. I have worked with kids for a long time and not much phases me anymore, but for some reason this got under my skin. I can sum it up in one word, respect. Respect for God in this instance. When I served as a youth pastor we would joke about Jesus farting and pooping. I believed it helped the kids identify with Jesus on a personal level. Kids, especially boys, joke about poop. If you say the word poop to a grown man he will still laugh. If Jesus was human like us, He pooped like we do. Humor is a terrific tool to teach kids about Jesus. Humor runs a muck (pun intended) when we remove respect from the equation. Jesus pooping is funny. Pooping on Jesus is not.
So why only 24 hours removed from the incident can I see humor in a child pretending to poop on Jesus. While I can come up with several reasons there is only one needed here. Jesus was not offended by this little boy and I need not be offended for Him. I remember saying incredibly silly things as a kid and somehow Jesus still saw in his heart to forgive me for my sins. Since God created the fifth-grade mind he knew well in advance that they would say such things and still make it to heaven one day.
I should only become concerned when after teaching how we should respect the Baby Jesus and why we respect Him. I am not going to blame the parents. Kids will misbehave when they don’t think their parents will find out. I am not going to expect kids to act like adults. They are unable too. It is when we teach our kids right from wrong we can hold them accountable.