Yesterday, First Methodist Houston continued our series Ask Me Anything. The premise of the series is that people submit questions and the preaching pastor fields them during worship not having seen the questions in advance. The new wrinkle today was that kids – with a little adult help – asked questions on video and the message was an answer to their questions.
The truth? The kids asked better questions than the adults.
- If God was so great to Israel why did they whine so much?
- When you disagree with someone is it okay to argue?
- If you are baptized and you forget your faith later on, are you still saved?
It is easy to see why, in the one recorded interaction we have between Jesus and a group of kids, the Gospel of Matthew tells us;
Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:13-14
Our kids, even the little ones, have big questions. Every church would do well to offer them the best answers we can.
The day reminded me of an incident I saw in Jerusalem a few weeks ago. We were walking along the Via Delarosa when a pre-teen boy flew by us with an older teen chasing close behind. The younger teen turned suddenly, faced his pursuer, and punches started flying. These were not jabs, these two wanted to land punches as hard as they possibly could on the other.
The street was crowded and quickly people moved to restrain the two kids. So angry were they, that each still attempted to wrestle free and get at each other. More adults entered the scene, and the two were walked off in opposite directions.
Our guide, Jim Fleming, told us, ‘Growing up in Jerusalem is hard.’ We walked on.
Today, I prayed for those two kids I saw. I should have done so much sooner, but sometimes we are slow to bring our petitions to Jesus for another. And Sunday the Lord gave me another nudge through the questions of our children to say a prayer for our kids.
Amongst the strongest reasons we follow Jesus, pray, attend worship, volunteer, tithe and engage in the discipleship we do is so the faith and answers we know will be taught to those generations that are coming in our wake. Our kids are asking powerful questions, and it is crucial for us as the church to offer them the best love, support, compassion, forgiveness, opportunities, and answers we can.
Jesus knew this too and when given the chance he showed his church, if we want to see the Kingdom that matters to God – kid yourself.