The first few lessons focused on the original sin and the fall of man (Genesis 1-3), and Day 3 continued along that vein. The Bible verse (Isaiah 59:2) went along with some recent conversations we've been having as a family, about the consequences of sin.
I explained the recommended activity to our kids. We were to put some dessert on the table, and show it to them. But there weren't allowed to eat it, until they washed their hands. Then we were to enjoy the dessert, while talking about how God is holy and cannot tolerate sin. It is only when our sins are washed away that we can enter God's presence and enjoy him.
But, it was not going to be done in our family. I told our kids that I didn't like the activity. But I challenged them to come up with the reason why I thought it tainted the gospel.
Because we're not supposed to eat dessert before dinner. Ummmm, no. That's not the main point.
Because not everyone likes dessert. No, keep going.
With some more prodding, one of them came up with the right answer. Because it shows that we can wash away our own sins. Bingo! Only God deal with our sin problem.
I know. Analogies often break down easier than an old cardboard box. Physical activities fall short of explaining spiritual realities. But it's not that we shouldn't use analogies or activities with our children; we just have to be able to understand where they fall short. And we have to help our children think critically, even about "Christian" teachings.
So instead of leaving it there, I asked my kids how they would make this activity more true to the gospel. They had a great suggestion: instead of washing their own hands, Daddy should wash their hands. Yes!
That's the great thing about our Father-- not only does He provide the prize (salvation), He also provides the means to obtain the prize (sending Jesus as the atonement for our sins).
Our kids need to know that truth about God. And we do, too.
**image courtesy of SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget via flickr