Note — The End of Days: Holy Pascha

If your conversations with your kids about the End Times leaves them fascinated and yearning for more, you might be interested in this: two Orthodox priests created a gorgeous graphic novel version of The Book of Revelations.

Joel Miller offers an excellent review, including images from the book, at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/joeljmiller/2013/06/a-new-way-to-see-the-book-of-revelation/

 

 

About Elissa Bjeletich Davis

Elissa Bjeletich is the mother of five daughters, and serves as the Sunday school director at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Austin, Texas. Find more information on her website: elissabjeletich.com

2 comments:

  1. I think this was one of the strongest post casts I have ever heard. Thank you! Thinking about the death and the End of the Days is hard enough for an adult. It is even harder to explain it to the children. I am not even sure how to tell children about the lives of the Martyrs. When do I start? My youngest is 5 and a half years old. Do you have any suggestions? I love your book ” In God’s hands”. Among other things you underlined a wonderful observation: when we put our will aside we feel peace. If only we offer our lives to God. If only I could learn to do so. It is especially not easy for a parent, I think.

    1. Hi, Anya!

      It’s funny you ask about talking with kids about martyrs. I just ordered the icon of the new 21 Coptic martyrs in Libya, and as we put it on our prayer table, the girls were all talking about it. The older kids know that ISIS is persecuting Christians, but my almost-5 year-old and 8 year-old did not. We were pretty matter-of-fact about it. We explained that some very evil people had captured these Christian men and threatened to kill them if they would not renounce Jesus, and that of course they did not, so these bad men killed them. (Using no more words than that.) At this young age, the idea of ‘bad guy’ is a common, simple thing, and we didn’t expand on who or why these bad guys would be attacking people. We also told the story of Mathew Ayairga from Ghana, who saw their faith and immmediately converted to be martyred with them.

      We told the kids that all of these men were prayerful until the end, and that their families have released statements saying that they are proud to know that their loved ones witnessed to the truth about God, and happy to know that they are safe in heaven now. We asked what they thought the families said about the men who killed them, and of course, they guessed that everyone was very angry and condemning. We reminded them that Jesus said, “forgive them for they know not what they do” on the cross, and shared that these families are praying for the men who committed these atrocities. It turned into a neat conversation about forgiveness, and about how we all pray that people come to understand the truth and to love God.

      I was actually surprised that they weren’t troubled by the conversation. On second thought though, these are Orthodox kids. They’ve heard lots of Bible stories and have heard the stories of Saints’ lives, which are rife with persecution. They’ve heard about the Three Youths in the Fire, and Daniel in the lion’s den. They’ve also lived through Holy Week.

      I don’t know that there’s a need to discuss martyrdom with the youngest kids, but if the topic comes up, I like to be matter-of-fact about the rough parts and then expand more on the good parts (how God rewards them, how proud He is of their witness and how we think He may even be sending them peace at the very time of the martyrdom, so that many of them are really not afraid.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.