PLAY

The Rare Gift of Being a Kid Again (An Everyday Story by Krissy Kludt)

On Sunday, Krissy Kludt shared an Everyday Story about learning to become a kid again.

Going to the cabin is like being transported back in time. My grandparents bought the little red house in 1972 and have come up every summer since.  I haven’t been here in six years, and yet everything is the same – the same games, the same 1969 rambler speed boat, the same shelf full of expired sunscreen. Even the same menu: fried fish, Cole slaw, and grandma’s cornbread casserole for dinner; root beer floats for dessert.  Walking in the door four days ago, I was transported back twenty years.
Even I am the same here. Suddenly I’m a girl again, despite my two-and-a–half-year-old son and the baby in my belly. Last night I caught five rock bass on a kiddie pole because there weren’t enough grown-up poles to go around, and this week I’m the youngest grown up. I still sit in the middle of the boat, still fish over Grandpa’s right shoulder.
But there is one difference that has hit me this week: it is a rare gift for my soul to be a kid again.

Listen to the full audio above or read the rest here at Krissy's blog!

A Theological Framework for Play: Becoming Kids Again

Three weeks ago we started our summer learning journey called Play: Becoming Kids Again (listen in on the Podcast). The past few Sundays we've focused on developing a theological framework for the journey. This framework will lead us forward into the next month as we look at several postures of play. Here's an overview of where we've been:

Becoming Kids: A Critical Step (Matthew 18:1-4)

In response to the disciples' question of who's the greatest, Jesus suggests they fundamentally misunderstood what God is up to in the world. To enter God's kingdom, you must become like a little kid again. Greatness is not found in moral superiority, social status, or intellectual prowess but humility, hospitality, and the playful abandon of childlike faith. 

One commentator writes that to become like a child is to "give up our adult-mania for greatness." This requires recognizing and naming so much of our learned behavior as unhelpful and even destructive (sinful), turning from this (repenting), and instead embracing the posture of a child to enter God's kingdom (salvation). Like Jesus told Nicodemus, we must be born again and begin to approach God as a child would a parent.

God as Good Parent: An Essential Understanding

So often our relationships with our parents are complicated and difficult to navigate; too often they're painful and broken. The stories told in the Scriptures indicate this isn't a new phenomenon - there is inherent difficulty in navigating cross-generational relationships (particularly when our biologies are intertwined!). And yet the Scriptures continually bring us back to the image of God as a good parent. Not just as a loving Father but also as a loving Mother, the perfect image of a good parent - strong, gentle, wise, guiding, nurturing, and protecting.

Through the work of Jesus, God is actively creating a new family - inviting each of us to bring our own experiences with our parents to the feet of the Good Parent who desires to give good gifts. This invitation to see God as Good Parent transforms our approach to prayer and the way we relate to the God who invites our full stories into deep and abiding relationship.

The Revelation of God's Kids: Creation's Breathless Anticipation (Romans 8:14-21)

In Matthew's Gospel, when Jesus is baptized God's voice from heaven proclaims "this is my beloved son and I'm pleased with him!" This affirmation of Jesus' identity shapes his vocation in the world; the very next story is one where Jesus is tempted in the wilderness for 40 days. Clarity on his identity as God's beloved leads to faithfulness in his vocation as Jesus follows God in the midst of temptation and trial. 

So Paul writes that our identity as God's beloved kids is made possible through the work of Jesus which gives us access to life in the Spirit (which the Scriptures describe as the very breath of God). While we struggle with our inclinations toward brokenness and captivity (Paul talks about this as sin or our fleshly nature), God's Spirit continually invites us to embrace our identity as God's kids because our vocation (to enjoy, explore and grow in the world God's gifted to us) depends on it! Paul even writes that all of creation itself waits with breathless anticipation for the revelation of God's Kids (Romans 8:21). The world around us is waiting for us to wake up to the Life God's invited us into. The world around us is waiting for us to play!

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What do you think? Questions? Thoughts? Pushbacks? 

How does this support or disrupt your understanding of what Jesus invites us into?