Big Truths for Little Kids, Part Two
Last week, we began our discussion of how to speak the truths of the faith to a new generation of kids, hungry to know the answers to lifeís deepest questions. This week we continue that discussion, with the focus on the place of the Church in a very pluralist world.
If God is everywhere why do we have to go to Church to see him?
Mom and I always love you no matter where you are, but it's better when we can give you a hug and a kiss and enjoy talking with you. Church is where God talks to us through the Bible and touches us through the sacraments. Sacraments are the kisses of God. Jesus himself gave them to us so that we would always have a sure way of receiving the life and love he means to give us. Mass is the way we learn how to exercise our bodies and souls so that we can go out stronger to meet God in the world and serve him in people.
Why can't we phone God?
You can. It's called "prayer". You can talk to God anytime you like. He probably wonít answer in a voice you can hear (though it does happen from time to time). Usually, he speaks to us through the teaching of the Church, through the Bible, and through wisdom from people he puts in our lives such as saints, friends, teachers, and parents.
Why do I believe in one God while my Hindu friend believes in lots? And is my God the same as my Jewish friendsí?
You believe in one God because you are blessed to live in a place where the Good News was accepted and took root. The Good News was that the God everybody has been looking for since the beginning had finally become the man Jesus Christ, died for our sins, and rose from the dead so that we could defeat sin and death. Everybody in the world is seeking him (which is why you are asking these questions) and everybody has been seeking him since the world started.
But because we are also limited and (especially because our thinking gets gummed up by sin) there was a long period between when the world began and when Jesus came. In that time, most of us lost track of him and sometimes tried to satisfy our hunger for God by making up stories about "gods" who were more like Big People with Magic Powers. Storytelling is a great thing, and some of the stories reflect some real truths about the real God. But if people start believing the stories to be true, it can cause a lot of problems. That's why God said not to believe in any God but him.
He especially said that to the Jewish people. They were the first people in the whole world that he picked out and chose to reveal himself. He took a very long time to help them understand that he was real, that there was just one of him, and that he loves us and wanted us to love him and each other. The point of all this was that he was getting them ready for the biggest surprise of all: he was getting ready to become a human being himself and, what is more, a fellow Jew!
Many Jews believed him. However, many others (especially their leaders) didnít. And that is still true today. Some Jewish people believe he is the Son of God. But most Jews don't. However, even though they don't believe in him (often because Christians have been very mean to them), God is still faithful to the covenant (that means "agreement") he made with them and he promises that one day they will realize that Jesus is who he says he is. Thatís why they are still his special people today, because God keeps his promises. Till then, we are to love our Jewish friends because they are sort of like our Older Brothers and Sisters since they were the first to hear the word of God.
Does God have a Mom?
Yes. Her name is Mary, the mother of Jesus. Jesus is the only person in the world who ever got to pick his Mother. Thatís because Jesus is God and, along with his Father and the Holy Spirit, is the Creator of everything, including Mary. When he became human he chose her as the one who would give birth to him and raise him. Jesus said we should call her our mother as well and told her to love us as us she loves him. If you arenít sure what to do, Mother Teresa made it pretty easy: ďLove Jesus as Mary loves Jesus and love Mary as Jesus loves Mary.Ē
Copyright 2008 - Mark P. Shea