I met someone this week who remembers school visits to St John’s when a child at Isleworth Town. The feeling that this church somehow belonged to them remained and they said it felt natural to come back to this church as an adult. As this indicates, faithful investment in our local community and children over many years can have unexpected and happy results later. This is part of letting others know this is “your church, at the heart of Isleworth.”
This week a new generation of children from Isleworth Town came to visit, wide-eyed and energetic yr1 students. As usual the donkey was a huge attraction, as was the stained glass window picture of John the Baptist without his head!
They then had some questions. Some of these were quite funny: “Are the screens for watching TV?”, “Is it true Christians have bread and beer each week at church?” And my favourite: “Excuse me, why is your mosque so old!?” Other questions got to the heart of belief and faith. “Why do you read the Bible?”, “Why did Jesus have to die?”, “Do you think Jesus really came back from the dead – or was he just sleeping and some people gave him some medicine?”
I did my best to at least begin an answer to these posers, but I was struck again at how the Christian faith makes some astonishing claims and how kids are very astute at spotting these things which might be familiar to us, and calling them out with fresh wonder. We say that God sent his son to live, walk, teach and heal. His body broken and blood shed on a Roman cross brings new life available to all. A dead man lives again and leaves an empty tomb, death defeated. How do you feel about these claims? Do you have similar questions? How would you have answered the children? Children can help lead the way for all of us this Easter with fresh questions, conversations, insights and wonderings as we attempt to grapple with the truths and mysteries of Jesus.