The room was full of chatter and excitement as the little children saw their Sunday friends for the first time in the day. Eyes were sparkly and bright and alliances were rekindled as a part of the weekly routine of Sunday morning Children’s Church.
I pulled up a chair in front of the small crowd and watched for a moment. I saw a room full of faces; some illuminated by smiles, others darkened by fear, and others in obvious anticipation. Finally, I made my announcement with a simple question. “What is a mystery”? Only half the children heard I was talking. The other half looked at me blankly. It seemed that this question left them a little perplexed.
I waved, and called attention to myself this time. “Hey kiddos, you will want to hear this! The bible, this morning, is talking specifically about you. It is good stuff and I am pretty sure you are going to want to hear it.” The room grew quiet. I asked again, “What is a mystery?” Everyone’s eyes were on me, and yet no answers came. I waited.
“I know you have heard the word before. What do you think it means. What is a mystery?” Finally, one young boy spoke out. “It is something that is difficult or impossible to explain!?” I nodded my head and was a bit surprised by the accuracy of his answer. However, it was perfect timing and by now all the kids were listening for the answer. Then I asked, “How many of you would like to solve a mystery of the Bible?”
The group came forth with a resounding “Yes!” “OK. Here we go. The bible says in Matt 13:13 I (Jesus) spoke to the people in parables because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear”
What does that mean “Seeing they do not see”? A little first grader in the front row came up with a practical answer. “Maybe they are blind.” “Yes that could be possible”, I replied. “How about, ‘in hearing they do not hear’?”
By now the group is mesmerized with the unusual questions. The room grew more silent as the assembly of children waited for the answers. Finally another youngster came forward with an appropriate answer. “Maybe this person was born deaf and without hearing.” “Good answer!” I retorted quickly. “BUT….What would you say if I told you that all these people were not blind and that they could all hear, and yet Jesus still says, “Seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear?” Why would Jesus say such a ridiculous thing? What does it mean?”
I was answered with blank stares. I don’t think they have ever heard the words “ridiculous” and “Jesus” used in the same sentence before, and it surprised them. However, I could see that they were thinking and trying to understand. And then the moment came. The flash of a second right before a great enlightenment. A nine year old little boy raised his hand with a big old smile on his face. He knows the answer to the mystery. He declares his answer, hoping that this great epiphany is the correct one. “These people have eyes but they don’t see the Holy Spirit and they have ears by they don’t listen to what He says.”
I, the teacher, sat there with my mouth open. I had nothing to say and nothing to add. My mind was in a whirl as I looked at this 3rd grade boy proclaim the answer as if he had been studying the bible for year. I thought to myself, “How is that possible?” Then God spoke to me. “Leanne, it is by my spirit that this mystery has been revealed to this young boy. I speak to all my children, at all ages.” My heart swelled with happiness and joy. I recognized the Spirit filled answer as completely correct. Then I took a moment to explain it to the others who were not quite able to understand. Eyes lit up and smiles appeared once again on the children’s faces. Now they all understood the mystery of the Bible. It was a happy moment.
In conclusion I asked, “Do you want to hear what Jesus has to say about YOU?!!” The room exploded. “Yes!” I opened my Bible one last time for the morning. Matthew 13:16 Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear. I finished up by saying, “You all have the privilege of going through the rest of your lives with having eyes that see Jesus and His holy spirit, and ears that hear Him lead and guide you. Never turn your eyes away and NEVER turn your ears off and you will live happy successful lives.”
Lord, help us adults turn our eyes to you and see you for who you really are; a God who loves us and wants the best for us. Give us ears that hear you when you call. Let us stop when you say stop and let us go when you say go. Finally, show us by what means to teach our children how to do the same thing. We love you Jesus, We pray this in your name, AMEN.