Every November the year 6’s up at the middle school do a unit in their R.E lessons called miracles. And every year I get asked in to talk about what Christians think about miracles. Hmmm…. I have to say that when I began 4 years ago I was a bit reluctant. Christians believe a huge range of things about miracles and how God works in the world. Where do you start? And were my views entirely orthodox and had I honestly thought through what I truly believe anyway? There was potential for not being real and kids can smell that a mile off. Added to that there are a variety of R.E. teachers some of faith but others having to take the lesson because there was space in their timetable. I had no idea what they had been telling the children or what the children are hearing at home. There seemed to be a fascination with Lourdes and healing miracles and I knew that I was walking on sensitive ground because I didn’t know which children were bereaved or had poorly relatives.
Did you know? Kids are the best theological teachers ever! I love these lessons. I have learnt more theology from them than I ever did from three years at theological college. There is nothing like their on the spot tricky questions to make you work out what you really believe.
I LOVE THIS JOB!
We have fun looking at stories from the bible; the feeding of the 5000, walking on water, healing of the man with a withered arm, the wedding at Cana, the raising of the widows son, the healing of the lepers….. We decide whether we think it happened and come up with alternatives and have a vote. (I vote for it happening). We then talk about whether the stories work on a different level. What are the stories telling us about who Jesus is? What are the stories telling us about us?
I wish you could hear what they come up with. They are working things out for themselves, rather than being told what to believe. They are not worried about having the right answer or looking silly. They haven’t been conditioned into a certain way of thinking, or bored rigid by church. I can see light bulbs coming on not just for them but for me too. There are moments when the light of Christ shines out of them. I so wish adults would function in this way.
Thank you God for using children to teach me a little bit more about you. The kingdom of heaven does indeed belong to them.