“Ok, lets review. What is the name of Elizabeth and Zachariah’s son?”
“Jesus!” said the 9 fourth and fifth graders in unison.” It is the Christian Jeopardy default for kids.
I laughed. It reminded me of a story of a pastor who asks the following question during a children’s sermon.
“What is gray, has a furry tail, collects nuts and hops?”
A little boy raised his hand and said: ‘I know the answer is Jesus but it sounds more Like a squirrel to me.’
My review of the Christmas story continued, but it was the Brentwood children’s reflections that spoke volumes about this mission field.
I continued; “Mary and Joseph were on a trip to Bethlehem because of the census. They had to go there because it was the homeland of Joseph’s family.”
‘My daddy says I can’t go to the country of his homeland because it is too dangerous. He comes from Salvador.’
The conversation continued but this little girl’s statement hung heavy in the room. Then we spoke of what it is like to travel and not be able to find a hotel. I told them a story about a vacation Kay and I took. Kay asked me if I had booked the hotel for the middle of the road trip. I told her I wanted to drive late into the night and would find a place when I got tired. Unfortunately, we were near Green Bay the night before a big game. We slept in the car. It was the doghouse for me.
The same little girl said; “One time we lived in our car. My sister was little and kept saying; Mommy do we have any more chips?”
Even after twenty-nine years in this ministry, I am still often deeply touched by answers and stories of children. They reflect their perception and experiences. What are our answers when we are exposed to obvious needs?
What smells great, has a white button that pops up when beautifully brown, and tastes wonderful with stuffing?
Who offers hope even after generations of hopeless dependence? Who fills the emptiness and provides comfort and direction in life? Who forgives the past, empowers the present, and secures the future?
He does not have a button that pops up when He is done, but he does offer eternal life when we are done on earth. The answer to every question is not always Jesus, but if the question seems hopeless, it usually is.