June 1, 2012

Jesus Wears Rocket Boots

 

Last night as I was putting my son to bed, we were tackling all the hard questions in life. My son asked a question about the Bible that I couldn't answer, so I simply told him that some things in the Bible we can't explain. They are miracles and we have to take them on faith that they really happened. I said, "Take Jesus walking on water. We don't know how he did that, just that he did."

"Oh! I know," my son quickly interrupted. "Jesus was wearing rocket boots, like Iron Man!"

OK, maybe we can explain everything in the Bible. I suppose when the sun stood still for Joshua, Superman was flying around the Earth so fast that it stopped turning. (It worked in the movie, anyway)

A child's imagination allows for robot armor, light sabers, men who turn green when angry, and talking animals. There's room in their little minds to accept raising people from the dead, driving out evil spirits, and . . . talking animals. Maybe that's what Jesus meant when he said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mark 10:15)

As we grow older, we also grow more cynical and skeptical. It is harder to accept Jesus walking on water, and even if we can make that logical leap, no way do we allow for Peter to do the same. Feeding 5000 with just a few fish and a couple of loaves of bread? Turning water into wine? These are harder to accept. Driving out demons can be explained away with psychology. We no longer have the faith of a little child.

Yet we spend billions to watch "The Avengers" while eagerly awaiting the next "Batman" and "Spiderman" release and speculating online about what, exactly, "Prometheus" is all about. We go in to the latest blockbusters willing to suspend belief for two hours. And then expect the Sunday morning sermon to be preached from science and history books.

I'm not saying we should check our brain at the door to our churches. But rather we should allow for our imaginations to do just what God intended them to do: grasp at the unknown, wonder in awe at God's power and creativity, and maybe in some way be inspired to share our unique insights through art, music, or prose.

If we can be child-like watching our childhood heroes on the big screen, why can't we be child-like, as Jesus commanded, learning about our ultimate hero in Jesus? Miracles cannot be explained. If they could, they wouldn't be miracles. And as I had to explain to my son, rocket boots weren't yet invented when Jesus was alive.

But I suppose that would have been a miracle too.

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