In school we were all encouraged to raise our hands if we had any questions. Of course, many times we may have felt our questions were stupid. I am sure you’ve heard the saying, “There are no stupid questions.” Even though teachers encouraged questioning, there was always the listening of our peer groups. No one wanted to feel stupid in front of them. The last thing any of us want to hear is, “You don’t know that?!" or “Everyone knows that!” We are all still somewhat trained to raise our hands when we have a question even into adulthood. What about the most pressing or troubling questions? Do we still ask them? Out loud? Does it seem that no one else in the “class” has the same questions as we do? Probably. But they may be shy about asking them.
What about the church? What about asking troubling questions from people who follow Jesus? Do you feel comfortable there? Do you feel the questions you are asking are not welcome? Sometimes people who are following Jesus can come across as so confident that it feels like we have all of life figured out. Even us Christian leaders can appear that way. What we do know is that Jesus welcomed questions. He is not threatened or worried by our asking. When it comes to God we often think of him proclaiming things. But he also encourages our interaction with him.
Abraham questioned God’s justice when he asked God, “Will you destroy the wicked along with the righteous? (Genesis 19:23) David didn’t understand why God seemed so distant when he asked, “Oh Lord, why do you stand so far away?” (Psalm 10:1) And then, Job, who went through horrible suffering and wondered, “Why do you turn away from me?” (Job 13:24) And then the writer of Ecclesiastes felt like everything people pursue in life seemed pointless when he said in desperation, “What do people get for all their hard work?”
What about you; what questions trouble you? Have you asked them? The people of who follow Jesus welcome questions. Jesus was never afraid of a good question asked in sincerity. He did try to get behind what stirred up the questions. He did challenge people’s motivations. Ask anything. Then get ready for Jesus to ask questions of you in return. A woman asked Jesus where was the best place to worship and Jesus said its how you worship that matters. A man asked Jesus how he could have eternal life. Jesus challenged him to let go of temporary things so that the eternal could be embraced. I believe that Jesus, God’s Son is living and speaking through the story of the Bible today. He will walk with us as we question things. He doesn’t just give us simplistic answers to satisfy our curiosity. Nor will we hear him speak until we are committed to doing what he says. I believe that we must all come to realize one basic truth in all our questioning: humans do not possess the the answer to their own questions apart from God. Until we realize this we could very well perpetuate that problem and frustrations that prompt all our hard questions.
Got questions? We welcome them. Feel free to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or bring them to church with you. Your questions are welcome, and more importantly, you are!