Curious

Pastoral Messages | February 12, 2015

At some point between the age of 4 and 14, we seem to lose a fair amount of our curiosity. If you want proof—just spend a few minutes in conversation with a preschooler. Some estimate that the average child asks somewhere between 100 to as many as 350 questions every day. That means during a 12-hour period, a parent might field a question every 2 minutes and 36 seconds.

Among the toughest inquiries parents said they faced—Why is water wet? Where does the sky end? How does a fish breathe under water?

I have no idea how I’d begin to answer any of those questions. But I know I’ve washed my hands a number of times today and not once considered what it is that makes water wet. I spent an afternoon at an aquarium last week and it didn’t even cross my mind to consider how it was all these fish live and breathe under water. There’s something about a child’s inquisitive nature that makes me long for a more curious existence.

As we enter into adulthood, we somehow begin to place more value on claiming certainty and memorizing facts rather than delighting in the joy of discovery. In elementary school we learned the 5 W’s: Who, What, When, Why & Where. This, we were told, is how you begin to uncover new realities.

But somewhere along the line the inquiries dry up and we’re content to know what we know. Life becomes more about knowing the right answer and less about asking a good question.

The realm of faith is no different, I suppose. We may know a Creed by heart, but how many of us have discussed what it really means to believe in “the communion of saints”? Or wondered aloud what “life everlasting” actually looks like? I wonder… why did God choose 10 Commandments and not 8 or 12 or just 2?

As it turns out, Jesus asks more than 130 questions in the gospels. I’d like to think it’s because even God can be curious. Even the One who created the heavens and the earth can wonder about the state of our hearts.

In fact, it’s Jesus who said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; search and you will find.” We’re encouraged to have a faith that pursues discovery and inquisitive wondering. We’re urged to ask questions and wonder together about this God of ours.

So channel your inner, curious 5-year-old. Ask away. As the early Christian theologian St. Anselm once said, “My faith seeks understanding, and understanding brings joy.”

 

 

Katy Warren, associate pastor

 

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Isaiah 53:4-12

4Surely our griefs He Himself bore,

And our sorrows He carried;

Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten of God, and afflicted.

5But He was pierced through for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities;

The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,

And by His scourging we are healed.

6All of us like sheep have gone astray,

Each of us has turned to his own way;

But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all

To fall on Him.

7He was oppressed and He was afflicted,

Yet He did not open His mouth;

Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,

And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,

So He did not open His mouth.

8By oppression and judgment He was taken away;

And as for His generation, who considered

That He was cut off out of the land of the living

For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?

9His grave was assigned with wicked men,

Yet He was with a rich man in His death,

Because He had done no violence,

Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10But the LORD was pleased

To crush Him, putting Him to grief;

If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,

He will see His offspring,

He will prolong His days,

And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

11As a result of the anguish of His soul,

He will see it and be satisfied;

By His knowledge the Righteous One,

My Servant, will justify the many,

As He will bear their iniquities.

12Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,

And He will divide the booty with the strong;

Because He poured out Himself to death,

And was numbered with the transgressors;

Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,

And interceded for the transgressors.

Psalm 91:9-16

9For you have made the LORD, my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

10No evil will befall you,

Nor will any plague come near your tent.

11For He will give His angels charge concerning you,

To guard you in all your ways.

12They will bear you up in their hands,

That you do not strike your foot against a stone.

13You will tread upon the lion and cobra,

The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

14“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;

I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

15“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honor him.

16“With a long life I will satisfy him

And let him see My salvation.”

Hebrews 5:1-10

The Perfect High Priest

1For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins;2he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness;3and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself.4And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.

5So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him,

“YOU ARE MY SON,

TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”;

6just as He says also in another passage,

“YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER

ACCORDING TOTHE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.”

7In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.8Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.9And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,10being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Mark 10:35-45

35James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, *came up to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.”36And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?”37They said to Him, “Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.”38But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”39They said to Him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.40“But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

41Hearing this, the ten began to feel indignant with James and John.42Calling them to Himself, Jesus *said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them.43“But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant;44and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.45“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Bartimaeus Receives His Sight