Last week, I was catching up with a family I had not seen much over the summer and the mom mentioned that her girls had lots of big questions to ask me.
Oh? What kinds of questions? I asked with just a small amount of apprehension. The oldest daughter was quick to respond, When is God's birthday?
That's a good question, I said. I don't think I've ever thought about it. What do you think?
Christmas! the younger sister pipes up, and then she continues with her own question, How was God born?
Wow, I said, that's another one I haven't thought about in quite that way, but it's kind of like asking if God created everything, then who created God...
At this point, Sister 1 begins to tell me that the stars exploded (her version of the Big Bang) while Sister 2 answers her own question, The heavens created God.
And, with that, the question was settled, the power of God and creation was affirmed, and we moved on to consider how we should celebrate God's birthday. Does God want a birthday cake? Would God share a cake with Jesus at Christmas? And so it goes...
When parents are asked these "big" questions, they often respond with, "I think that's a good question for Pastor Susan," and I get put on the spot. What I have learned, though, is that when our kids ask the questions, they are usually ready to answer them as well and I have come to love the faithful conversations that follow. As adults growing in our faith and tackling the tough questions, are we ready to discover the answers for ourselves, or have we lost the youthful confidence that allows us to trust our hearts as we consider the possibilities and choose the one that feels right to us? Are we looking to others for the answers instead? As we continue growing in faith together, I hope we can share our questions and ideas and imaginings, and find our own answers to the big questions.