Last week I was teaching about Jesus healing the woman bleeding and bringing a dead little girl to life. I love it! I get excited at the prospect of having the privilge of teaching that Jesus is the Messiah- the One promised to save his people from their sin. I love teaching through a passage like this where God the Son displays his power over sickness, sin, and death. When I have to work through it to teach to little ones, I have to ruminate in it, and consider its implications in my own life. It is a beautiful gift given to me to be able to do this. And last week was special. For the first time the k- 2nd grade group asked lots of questions, not your standard raise the hand because I’ve just been waiting this whole time to tell you something, but questions about what it means to believe in Jesus, why get baptized and what is baptism(not sure where that one came from that day), how do we know it’s true, and so on.
Then one little girl raised her hand and asked,” Have you seen God and were you there when Jesus was here because, like, you REALLY believe this?” The question was genuine and filled with excitement.
I was struck by how she expressed it and rejoiced that I know this is true and that I was able to communicate it in that way.
It set me into self examination this whole week. I do really believe this. I believe the Bible to be an accurate,God-breathed, living and active, historical document. I believe what it says. And though I have not seen Jesus in physical form, I believe I will see him face to face someday. I have tasted forgiveness and life. His spirit testifies with my spirit it is true. I believe scripture that says,……
1 Corinthians 15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
But do I? Do I, like, really believe this?
The Jesus who simply took a little girls hand who was dead and said, “little girl get up”, is still raising the dead to life. He is still making those dead in sin alive to God through the proclaiming of his gospel. We speak it in his name and people wake up and follow Jesus!
If I believe this my lips would flap more.
I’d parent in faith, not fear. If this is true then I can faithfully rebuke, correct, train, and teach the bible to my teenager boldly. I can bring the death and resurrection of Jesus and call him to repent, to believe, to trust in his saving work and follow him. I have hope because I can’t make them follow Jesus but God’s living and active word can bring them to the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. If I believe, I won’t give up on the most difficult of my children, nor will I coast by with my easiest. I believe in the one who raises people to life and who healed a woman instantly when in faith she touched the hem of his robe. So I need to parent hard, parent long, parent in hope and reap a harvest at home.
If I really believe, I’ll look at the woman next door to me who is both manipulative and straight up outta her mind walking around the street topless and sometimes bottomless,who rarely knows what day or time it is and is sent home to come back when we are actually awake- with hope and compassion. I’ll let her sit at the table with us even though our noses burn with the strong smell of urine and my house wreaks of it well after she’s gone,simply because she was created in the image of God and Jesus saves! He has power over sickness(even of the mind), sin, and death! If he can speak the world into existence, say Lazarus come out and he does, days after he’s been rotting in a tomb, touched lepers and they became clean, and turn a persecutor of the church into who we believe to be the greatest of the Apostles – the one who says , “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation”- he can put this image bearer next door to me in her right mind, resurrect her dead heart to rise forth and follow him. I am free to love her and speak God’s word to her in faith.
If I believe, I will keep calling the children and families in my neighborhood to Jesus,and keep driving my big old van down the street each Wednesday to gather children to church, and bring them on Sundays to be knit to Gods people and hear the gospel again and again in faith.
I can love my brother’s and sister’s in Christ and faithfully build into my church in faith that we are being built into our head, Jesus, together.
Sweet little Girl, I like, really believe this!