Thursday, July 30, 2015
These boots are made for walking/MANN
Travelling a faith journey takes good walking shoes. It’s exciting to come to new understandings of how God works in your life and others. It seems the older I get, the more questions I have. Perhaps that's because as I reflect I wasn't previously prepared to challenge that which others might think untouchable. Someone said, ‘You get older and bolder’. I like that invitation.
Madeleine L'Engle, often criticized by Christians for her theological position, was also criticized by some secular press as being too Christian. Because she didn't seem to fit in either perspective, she apparently made her way somewhere down through the middle creating a following who could, without problem, explore theological truths for themselves.
One of her statements has always made me stop and think, perhaps it is because I taught Sunday school for a long time before entering the ordained ministry. Madeleine's father slept late in the morning, due to illness, and "There was no one to take me to Sunday School. I have talked with such a surprising number of people who have had to spend most of their lives unlearning what some well-meaning person taught them in Sunday School, that I'm glad I escaped!" (Walking on Water, p. 58)
Fortunately as a child, I had excellent Sunday school teachers, all of whom were women and for the most part related to one another and to me as we were a small rural community. Bessie lived a faithful and devoted Christian life, (second cousin of my mother's); Beatrice, (my first cousin) also lived the same kind of life devoted to following the Christian faith and Florence, another disciple and faithful servant of Christ in the church were the only teachers I had.
As I reflect back, it is not so much what these women taught me in facts and figures, but the love in which they told the old stories helped me to experience God's love and acceptance in my life.
As these women had opportunity to see me 'grow in wisdom and stature', I too have been able to see some of my Grade V Sunday school class develop in faith and service. Truly a daunting experience.
So, in answer to L'Engle's statement, I don't feel I have much to unlearn and perhaps a stronger gift was one of being greatly encouraged to critically examine faith. I was encouraged to challenge traditional thought, ask questions and struggle with some of the established truths.
Children’s questions can be very thought-provoking which helps them develop a working theology even as they are being mentored by loving elders. My Sunday school teachers revealed a glimpse of the Kingdom of God to me. I hope I did likewise to the classes I had.
6 Point your kids in the right direction—when they’re old they won’t be lost (Proverbs 22:6).
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