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rodin thinker silhouetteThis morning I was at a local school taking a lesson on ‘how did we get the Bible?’ At the end of the lesson I asked if the children (aged 9-10) had any questions.

And wow, didn’t they have a lot of questions?! They started with questions about the subject and then covered all sorts of different subjects about Jesus and the Christian faith. There were some unusual ones (where is Mary buried?) and there were some technical ones (what year did Jesus die?) and there were some ones that led to some deep insights (was Jesus a real person? where is he buried?)

I loved it. And there were still plenty of hands in the air when we had to call a halt to the lesson.

I have a feeling that Jesus loved it when people asked him questions – especially those that were asked out of genuine interest and curiosity. You only have to look at the answers he gave to see how much he relished them. Stories like ‘The Good Samaritan’ and ‘Unforgiving Servant’ were told in response to questions. He even seemed to relish questions that were designed to trip him up because he could use them to point to the truth about himself and about how people can relate to God.

I suppose one of the problems with our didactic approach to teaching in church (sermons) is that there is not so much opportunity for people to ask questions in the service. I love it when people have questions afterwards though, because it shows that they are thinking about what was said, not just accepting it at face value.

In the past I ran a group called ‘Deep Thought’ where we had the freedom to ask any questions and share opinions on some of the deep questions of life, the Universe and everything. I loved those occasions too.

There are still opportunities for us to ask questions – in small groups, among friends and so on. And I love it when people ask me questions about something they have been reading or (miraculously) something they remember from one of my sermons.

Questions are one of the essential elements of learning. They open up possibilities, they stimulate thoughts, they invite dialogue and they show a desire to grow. There is always more of life to discover. There is always more of God to discover. Never stop asking questions: the moment you do is the moment when you have settled for less than God wants to offer you.

Be blessed, be a blessing

 

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