Marilynne Robinson on children’s ministry

I have never read a better description of my approach to the catechesis of children than this short paragraph from Marilynne Robinson’s essay “Psalm Eight” from the collection The Death of Adam.

The patient old women who taught me Presbyterianism taught in parables. God spoke to Moses from a burning bush, Pharaoh dreamed a dream of famine, Jesus said, Take up your bed and walk. We drew of colored pictures of these events, which were, I think, never explained to us. No intrusion on the strangeness of these tales was ever made. It was as if some old relative had walked me down to the lake knowing an imperious whim of heaven had made it a sea of gold and glass, and had said, This is a fine evening, and walked me home again. I am convinced it was this reticence, in effect this esotericism, which enthralled me.


One thought on “Marilynne Robinson on children’s ministry

  1. That woman and the way she puts things. This puts words to the unsettled feeling I’ve had reading the latest “children’s bibles” to my kids.


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