This past week at Route 456, our midweek program for kids in Grades 4 through 6, Leah Johnston got 3 pastors up on the stage and had the kids fire difficult theological questions at us. It was a thrill, and also terrifying. As each question was asked, and as we stammered through the answers, I had this quote from C. S. Lewis reverberating around my head: if you can’t explain something in its simplest form, you probably don’t understand it. Some of the questions included such gems as:
- Is God a boy or a girl?
- How big is heaven?
- If God brought peace, why is there war?
- Is God a legend or fact?
One of the key factors in kids' (and adults') ability to thrive in our Christian faith community is the opportunity to ask questions. Questions help us gain knowledge, help us wrestle with truth, and help us gain a sense of support from others. Although some of these questions about faith remain throughout our lives, I find that, when our kids graduate, a different sort of question emerges, one preoccupied with life choices:
- What career should I choose?
- Is it worthwhile getting married?
- Will I be able to support myself?
- Where will I live?
- What should I believe?
Today is Grad Sunday, meaning we’re focusing on those who are graduating from high school. Our grads still need a faith community that offers them a safe place to ask the hard questions. It’s not like the questions above have easy answers, and it is fine for us as a community to sometimes answer, “we don’t know.” My prayer is that Emmanuel continues to be a place where people of all ages can have the confidence to ask questions and feel the support of a community that believes in them regardless of how much they grapple with the answers. High five a graduate today! Know their name! Pray a blessing upon them.