Sunday, October 26, 2008

Little Visits With God

So excommunicate me, but after looking fruitlessly for years for a decent Bible study resource for little people, I finally found exactly what I was looking for in a Lutheran book. Little Visits With God, which has been around since 1957, is a gentle and wonderful collection of two hundred short stories of boys and girls in everyday situations (a cut finger; helping with chores; arguing with siblings) who talk about each situation with a parent, looking at matters in the light of the Bible verse that begins each section. There are questions and an appropriate prayer at the end of each section, and then a longer Scriptural passage for the parent or older child to look up.

Little Visits manages to pull all this off without being treacly or preachy, which is pretty impressive given the low success rate this kind of material tends to have in that regard. Each section is short enough to keep little fidgety attention spans occupied; and the verses are short and (slightly) simplified (they're based on the KJV, which I prefer anyway since it's the language that's become part of our cultural heritage), easily memorizable by the very young. It's been perfect for introducing Offspring #2 to the Bible, and I heartily wish I'd known about it when Offspring #1 was younger.

Yes, it's Protestant: but it's Lutheran, and Lutheran theology is vastly closer to Catholic theology than most Catholics realize. While Baptist (for instance) materials are unusable without major reworking, there's very little in Little Visits that needs to be adjusted, and even then it's mostly a matter of addition--for instance, adding discussion of the Sacrament of Penance to sections on repentance and forgiveness. Substantive differences in theology are too rarefied to make an impact on a book for the very young.

Because Little Visits has been in continuous print for fifty years, it's pretty easy to find a used copy. Comparing my 1969 edition to the modern edition, the few changes are primarily formatting and an updating of children's names: Jerry has become Jeremy, Jim is Jordan, Winifred is Shanika. Check out the comments for more reviews by happy parents. (Don't be confused with its description in many of the Amazon comments as "devotional"; that's just Protestantese for "Bible Study with prayer," and not what Catholics would call a devotion.)

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Anonymous yahmdallah said...

Procuring a copy now.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Sophia said...

Thanks, OH!!

2:49 PM  

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