Monday, June 19, 2006

Jesus is our friend

Today Ashley and I started our weeklong journey through VBS (vacation Bible school) at our church here in Ramona. Our job was to tell the story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man who was lowered down through a roof. I was the owner of the house, which now had a large hole in its ceiling, and Ashley was behind the scenes throwing leaves and debris through the hole to give the kids the full effect. It was a new experience for me as I am not very dramatically gifted but the props were good enough to make any six year old the feeling that they were actually sitting in a house in Capernaum where Jesus had been the day before. It was actually fun for me. The message was “Jesus is our friend” because Jesus was a “Big time friend” in helping the Paralyzed man walk again.

At one point the kids got together in the previously assigned small groups and discussed how Jesus is a friend to us and how we can be a friend to Jesus. I knelt down and got into the discussion a little bit with a few of the kids. I directed them toward the idea that Jesus listens to us like a good friend and so we can talk to Him whenever we want. At that point one bright kid interrupted me with a question. She asked “when we talk to God are we talking to Jesus too?” I stopped and thought about the question for a second. I was face to face with a challenge I have been anticipating for years. It is the challenge of representing truth to a small child without setting them up for failure. It is true that Jesus is listening when we pray to God so that is what I told her first but. I told her that Jesus is “God as a human.” Those were the best words I could think of to retain Jesus’ humanity while at the same time realizing His deity. I was as careful a possible with her delicate question and she seemed satisfied.

We should always be careful with people’s questions, especially kids’ questions. We should never be afraid to say “I don’t know.” And we should never answer a question without thinking about what the person who is asking will understand in our answer. We all have different understandings of different concepts. In our paradoxical faith there are very few questions that can be taken lightly.

What was important for this little girl to know is that Jesus listens when we talk to God and that Jesus is our friend.

3 comments:

Flip said...

Hey Wes - long time no "see". That is a very good question...I've wondered it myself. Wondering if we should pray to God the Father, or Jesus - or either?

You're right though - we need to be comfortable saying we don't know.

Hope you are well.

Dan McGowan said...

Well, we COULD pray, "Our Father, which art in heaven..." or something along those lines since this is the way Jesus taught us to pray - no big mystery there...

WES ELLIS said...

Flip,
Great to hear from you! I hope you're doing well. Are you back to blogging? I'm excited to read up if you are.
-Wes