I was reading a reflection by a young minister who was busily getting her young children off to school when her child asked, “How do we know there is a God?” So here was a perfect learning moment, yet she confesses that her response was, “I have not had my coffee yet?” We parents are often so busy we miss, not only smelling the flowers or running over them, but we miss some of our most important callings as parents.
I cannot tell you how many times as I am giving my children’s sermon at the beginning of each Sunday service, that the wisdom of a child’s response or question moves me to tears or simply concludes the sermon.
It happened this Sunday when I asked the children, “What would you want to say to God?” “I don’t know!” was the most popular answer and sometimes that might be where we as adults are. Indeed, Paul says that sometimes there are no words for our prayers to God. One child simply said, “I would say thank you to God for being with me.” Wow! The wisdom of children is often greater than the wisdom and foolishness of adults.
Paul speaks of the foolishness of the cross in contrast with traditional wisdom. During the month of March, most Christian churches will be exploring the “foolishness of the cross.” (In early Western history, it might be called the “foolishness of the hangman’s noose.”) We will enter into Holy Week the last week of March throughout Casper and the world as we walk the way of the cross, through the Last Supper, through the betrayal, the trial, the crucifixion, the death of Jesus and His burial…signs of intimacy and failure in the midst of a success and power- oriented society. April 1, April Fools Day, an appropriate day, is Easter Sunday and we will experience shock and awe and wonder and the many “Uh Oh’s! What does this mean for me/us?” The ‘foolishness’ might all begin to make sense.
Are you ready to respond to your children’s questions? Are you ready to hear their wisdom? This might be a good time of year to either return to church or visit a church or synagogue or some house of prayer for the first time [again?]. Check your newspaper for the many options you have. You may discover more questions or even discover the answer to a child’s (or adult’s) question, “How do we know there is a God?”
For what it’s worth.