This is a cool story (one of many from this weekend's Christmas services) so I had to blog it for you.
After the 7pm service at the Reno Church, I sat on stage to pray for people and answer questions. I had someone come up on a quest to have some burning inquiries settled. His name was Jacob.
Jacob asked questions related to
1) The incarnation and soteriology - “Did Jesus start saving us a soon as he became a baby?”
2) The Trinity - “If Jesus is God, is he there side by side with God [the Father], or did he become God? How does that work?”
3) The ontology of angels - “Are angels people who have died or were they always angels?”
4) The state of heaven - “Will we be able to do things in heaven that we couldn’t do on earth?”
5) God’s method of communication - “If God is beyond space, how does he talk to people?”
6) The meaning of dreams - “Can God talk to us through dreams?” (He actually says he has heard of people conversing with God in their dreams and has prayed that God would speak to him this way, too).
One after one the questions came, and I tried to answer them clearly and concisely. Jacob was excited to talk about Jesus and told me he had been reading his Bible because he recently learned that a person with his name is in it and he is curious to learn more about him.
It was clear that Jacob had been pondering some deep concepts of the faith - things related to the supernatural, the metaphysical, and the eternal; things that bring us to the end of human logic. Jacob was thirsty to explore them all.
By the way, Jacob is an 8 year old child.
Needless to say, my jaw was sitting in my lap the entire time I was talking to him. It was like the movie Big, except the exact opposite - an adult brain was occupying a child’s body. (He's probably too young to get the movie reference since it came out 17 years before he was even an embryo).
And so I learned something from this encounter.
Childlike faith (Mark 10:13-16) does not mean ignorant, blind faith. Actually, childlike faith is trust in God and an honest search for truth, without fear of probing too deep. Jacob had a profound hunger to explore the mystery.
There were numerous people who got saved this weekend, encountering Jesus in a personal way for the first time, to add to the scores of people we've seen come to faith in Christ this year. May they all have faith like little Jacob, wanting to know how all of this theology "works" while simultaneously believing that God is real and present. (Jacob told me that during the sermon he had the realization that God was sitting in the empty chair next to him).
Also, Jacob told me that in heaven he wants to say "hey" to Michael Jackson and try a backflip because he wouldn’t smash his face.
In sum, childlike faith equals trust, honest inquiry, and the confidence that face smashing will be extinct in heaven.