This children’s sermon was written to accompany a sermon about seeing God around us. The senior minister asked me to talk about how it’s hard to trust what we cannot see. This particular Sunday, the children remembered the story about Thomas and his interaction with the risen Lord in a room with the disciples in Sunday school. We also enjoyed a baby dedication earlier in the worship service.
Did you enjoy our dedication of Baby Wilder to God this morning? Even though he’s just a few months old, he’s already learning like crazy. He learns about love by looking into the faces of his parents and his sister, and he’s learning about the world around him by watching. As he gets a little older he’ll continue learning more and more- even about things in life that are kind of hard to imagine because they’re invisible, like gravity. Have you learned about gravity at school? His parents could tell him, “Baby Wilder, gravity is an invisible force pulling towards the center of the earth.” But would he understand that? No, he learns by seeing. He drops his sippy cup and watches it fall, and his mind starts stretching. When I drop things, they fall down and not up. As he gets older, like your age, he might notice that when he drops two things, like this ping pong ball and a basketball, what happens? (A child says that they both hit the ground at the same time. There is some argument there.) I’ll let you experiment at home and see what you think. I can see your minds stretching! It’s hard to learn about invisible things without seeing. We listen, watch, we ask questions and our minds stretch!
It reminds me of what we talked about in Sunday school today- when the disciples told Thomas about what had happened the night before when they were in a room with the door shut and Jesus had appeared with them. Thomas said he couldn’t believe them unless he saw for himself- unless he could touch the wounds! Of course he couldn’t! Their minds were stretching to know Jesus in this new way. Eight days later he appeared again and went straight to Thomas and said, Touch me. Thomas fell on his knees and knew who he was.
Did Jesus say, “You should have believed your friends!” “You were wrong not to have faith in what they said!” NO. He walked right up to Thomas and showed him what he needed to see.
As our minds stretch to know Jesus, we will have lots of questions. We will want to see him and we will wish we could. But we can still ask those questions. We can ask our teachers and parents and ministers and we can read the Bible and other books. WE CAN ASK GOD. We can also ask ourselves what we think because the Holy Spirit can help us. Sometimes the answers will come and sometimes we’ll need to think about our questions and ask God- pray- a long time. And that’s good. Those questions will bring us closer to God. We will learn about God and about ourselves as we wonder about things.
I’m so glad we have a God who doesn’t expect us just to believe everything without asking questions. Aren’t you?
Dear God, we want to be close to you, to understand you, to know you. We have so many questions. Help us stretch our minds and hearts to ask our questions and then be patient and watch and listen for the answers. We love you, God. Amen.