“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”—Luke 18:17 (ESV)
It was Sunday morning and I was already in the worship service. I then receive communication from my uncle via text message that he had left some money behind and he wanted me to hand it over to someone. He and his team had travelled in the wee hours of the morning. That is why, perhaps, he was communicating by text.
“Am in church, I’ll do that later when I get home.” That was my reply. Then I got home, found the girl and handed the money over to her. Little did I know that this one act would spoil my entire day.
I received one nagging question after another from the girl. But the one question which stood out was: “From whom did the money come from?” I remember hearing that question countless times, and many other accompanying questions.
Then the “devout” in me showed his face. “Will you just take the money and shut up?” I queried inside myself. Of course at this moment my heart was littered with gun powder and small explosives had started going off.
Little children, after receiving a new toy, they waste no time. Ripping off the packaging, they go down to the serious business of playing with it. No questions asked. And you will see the joy on their little faces. It’s a new toy and all the kids in the neighbourhood will know how the little guy received his favourite comic character over the weekend. And he will even take it to school on Monday morning.
But give a gift to an adult. She will ask why you bought for them a Huawei and not a Samsung Galaxy tablet. Or why you got it in black instead of pink. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll be asked how much the phone costs, why you didn’t include the receipt, where you bought it, why you thought they needed it, and all those nagging questions.
People who bring such a mindset to the gospel always reject it. The few atheists and agnostics I have met reject the faith because they have “unanswered questions”. As if Christianity is a geometry test where the smart geeky kids get ten out of ten, before the teacher reads their names out loud so that whole class will applaud them. Things get even messier when you meet an atheist who is obsessed with dinosaurs.
God Himself hid most of the stuff and revealed just a little—only that which we need to know (Deut. 29:29). But that aside, the human brain does not have the capacity to grasp even what is revealed. You can’t burn just enough acid or sniff just enough cocaine to get it all figured out.
To the Christian, and majorly the preacher, the response “I don’t know” should always be a commonplace. You are not a Christian because you figured out every step of the jigsaw, rather you are one because you didn’t even know that the jigsaw was there in the first place. But that is okay. Because your hope, comfort and salvation solely rest in the One who knows it all.
This frees us to bring out the little children in all of us. Abba’s children who are fully aware that the intricacies of this world also lie in His hands, under His sovereign control and that there is nothing to fear. Just little children who enjoy the company of their Abba, jumping on and off His lap. Because at the core of it, Christianity is an open admission that you and I have nothing figured out, and that we won’t try to run ourselves nuts by doing so.
Because the gospel is not something to be figured out, it’s a gift to be received. If anything, the only requirement the gospel asks of us is not primarily an inquiring mind but dirty-empty-open-hands.
Will you receive the gift and shut up? That was crass, wasn’t it?
It’s your Lifeline, AMEN.
Image: Craft Hubs