Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sheltering Children

Dr. Veith on the Cranach blog has some good observations about sheltering children from "negative emotions" one might find in a movie like the recent Narnia film.

In my comments to his post, I said:

This reminds me of the shift I have seen in the bedtime prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep..."


Instead of "If I shall die before I wake, I pray thee Lord my soul to take" we now hear, "May angels watch me through the night until I wake in morning light". I refuse to use the newer version with my daughter, and teach her the one I learned as a child.

I also have a little statuette my father-in-law gave me, in which a boy is kneeling to pray, and it reads, " 'Now I lay me down to sleep,' a little boy once said, 'If I should die before I wake, how will I know I'm dead?"

Children need to know about death. They also need to know about the one who rescues us from death. How do you teach children about the cross without teaching them about death?

3 comments:

David Eaton said...

Great insight into the bedtime prayer. My children hear the traditional bedtime prayer in our house, and we speak often about their great-grandparents that they've known here on earth, and the fact that they are in heaven with Jesus now. They understand that death is not the end, but we will get to see our loved ones later on in Heaven.

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Stuart Floyd said...

Great observation. It bugged me that the powers that be make arbitrary changes which, as you pointed, out are clearly theological. Any ideas as to the history of this prayer? When I came to the sem, we switched to Luther's evening prayer to help me study... not the best motive but the results I guess are salutary.