We read whole chapters of the Gospels aloud. I let the girls color and play, and I just sit and read the words. I don't ask them to narrate the stories or sayings, but just to listen as they can while they play. Today we read Matthew 10. I didn't think Miriam was listening (she was coloring the Hagia Sophia and singing about the "barbarians who stole your tabernacle").
But she was.
Miriam: "Mommy, why does Jesus say he comes to bring a sword and not peace? Because, he is the Prince of Peace. I am confused."
That is confusing. So, here's what I tried for a little exegesis.
"Well, it is confusing. Let's think about Jesus' commandments. If we love Him, He says, we will follow His commandments."
"Yes," she said, still coloring and humming.
"So, people have to make a choice: they can either walk to Jesus in the light or turn around and walk the other way into the dark."
"Yes," she stopped coloring.
"I think that is the sword he might mean: If some people choose to walk to Jesus and other people choose to walk away from Jesus, then who has the Peace of Christ?"
"The people walking to the light," she nodded.
"Yes. But what happens if you choose something dark?"
"Then you don't have the Peace of Christ!" she was very happy now.
"And not having peace is like a sword?"
And we were both happy. This is why she's at home this year.