This term in K-6 Kids Church we’ve been looking at the Nicene Creed. Each week we’ve taken a verse or two of the creed and unpacked the ‘true thing that we believe’ in that verse. So far we’ve seen that we believe:
- In one God who made everything
- In Jesus, who
o is and always has been one with the Father (he is God)
o came to earth as a human
o died on the cross for our salvation
o rose from the dead
o went back to heaven where he rules over everything and is preparing a place for us
o will come back again to judge all people
As you can see we’ve been dealing with some deep theological truths! It’s been tough stuff and to be honest I was beginning to wonder if any of it was going in!
Then this super cool thing happened last Sunday! I was walking past our year 2 girls group and they called me over. They said ‘Sarah, Sarah, Sarah we have a question!’ So I sat down and one of the girls said this: ‘Ok. So you know how a few weeks ago we learnt that Jesus and the Father are one? But today we learnt that Jesus didn’t know when he was going to come back… So I’m confused. If they’re one, then how come Jesus doesn’t know?! I’m confused!’
Now just remember, she’s in year 2 right, that’s 8 years old! After I picked my jaw up off the floor I thanked God that I’d been reading Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer the day before, which deals with a similar issue. I was able to explain that the Bible tells us that both these things are true. Jesus and the Father ARE one AND only the Father knows when Jesus is coming back. So we can do 1 of 3 things. We can say God’s a liar and not trust him. We can say the Bible is rubbish and throw it out. OR we can say we are NOT GOD and so we can’t understand this fully, but we will trust that he speaks the truth and so somehow both these statements must be true! Packer calls it an antinomy - two statements that can’t be reconciled but also can’t be denied.
We decided that the reason we find this difficult is because we think we’re the smartest. Because we’re smarter than rocks and pigs and the carpet, we think we’re the smartest being there is! But God is much, much smarter and much much bigger than we are, so we should listen to him and trust him. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to understand more of who God is and what he’s done. But we have to make sure we do this with humility, knowing that God is God and we are not.
I was astonished by how these 8-year-old girls wrestled through this very difficult concept and came out the other side totally contented and trusting God more than they had when they woke up that morning. I was amazed again at God’s ability to reveal deep things about himself to children. When I told this girl’s mum about our conversation she was not surprised and told me that this term’s program had sparked all kinds of conversations about the Trinity and who God is!
If your kids are asking similar questions then here are two things to consider:
1. Don’t freak out, be encouraged!
Although their questions may seem daunting it’s actually a sign that they’re growing. It’s great that they are wanting to know God better and wrestling with his word! Encourage their questions. The curiosity of our Kids Church kids has sparked my curiosity and I’ve been encouraged to think deeply about what I’m learning. So don’t freak out, be encouraged!
2. Find out the answers
If you can’t answer their question that’s ok! Just say that (I say it often to our Kids Church kids, especially this term!). But don’t stop there. Go to God’s word and see what he says. Ask your Gospel Team leader or others at church how they would answer it. You may even consider doing a PTC course (Doctrine 1 deals with these kinds of questions) to think through these things yourself. Or if you know the answer but aren’t sure how to explain it to a kid, ask another parent or talk to me
and we can work out how to helpfully explain it to your child.
Please be praying for the kids in our church family. Thank God for our kids and the ways that he is growing them! Pray for parents and kids church leaders as we teach and disciple them to know and love our great God better!