No, not the Jeremiah in the Bible. My youngest son has uttered some profound spiritual truths recently. Rhett has discovered the wisdom of children while teaching VBS this week. Those of us who are parents get that 24/7 – the good and the bad. The same three-year-old speaking such wise words is the same one who screamed most of this morning about riding his bike and who has been fighting his nap for the last two and a half hours.
But his behavior cannot downplay the wisdom of what he said. Here are the three things I have (re)learned from Jeremiah.
Make Jesus your source of happiness – As we are visiting churches, Jeremiah and Wesley are getting to know some new friends and new teachers. Jeremiah put the charm on this past Sunday when his teacher was asking all the children – “What makes you happy?” He titled his curly head to the side, smiled and said, “Jesus.”
If only that were true of us all the time. What really makes JJ happy is getting his way. That’s probably true for his daddy and that’s probably true for most of us. If Jesus really was our source of happiness and joy, all lives would be a lot different.
Value God’s Word above all others – One of the boys’ favorite shows is WordGirl on PBS. It’s about a girl with super powers and a super vocabulary.
Part of the show involves a character asking kids their favorite word. I asked Wesley and he, being the future blogger, said “Computer.” Jeremiah said, “My Bible.”
If God’s Word were our favorite word instead of our friends, our the newspaper or our own, we wouldn’t struggle with which we have problems. If we completely relied on what God had to say, we wouldn’t be so unstable and uncommitted. We would have a sense of passion and priority which would drive our lives.
Christ is the Head of all true churches – Jeremiah was describing how he “rolled around and around” at church. I asked him which church since he has been to three in the last three weeks. I went through each one. Nana’s church? No. Mama Rose’s church? No. Seth’s church? No. I said, “Which church?” He replied, “Jesus’.”
Wesley, who likes to correct Jeremiah anytime he is wrong, started to tell him that Jesus didn’t have a church. I interrupted and said, “You are right JJ. Any church that teaches the right things about Jesus is His church. All of those churches we talked about are Jesus’.”
How much squabbling would end if we remembered that Christ is the Head of His church. It would stop the stupid pettiness inside of individual churches, when we figure out that the one in charge is not the majority but Monarch. The new carpet color doesn’t matter nearly as much as how we are reaching our community.
It would also help to bring unity to the Church, which Jesus prayed for before He was handed over to be crucified. There will always be distinct theological, missiological and methodological differences between different churches – those within the same denomination and those across denominational lines. But followers of Christ can and should appreciate Kingdom growth among those that teach and hold to “mere Christianity.” If the church down the street or across the ocean does things differently than I do, but they are worshiping and serving the same Jesus, I can and should rejoice in what God is doing there.
When you are surrounded by kids you learn a lot of good stuff. You also learn how not to lose it when they push you to the limit. Today while I typed this and the boys refused to lay down for rest time, I’ve pulled toys out of their room instead of hair out of my head. You take the good lessons with the bad ones.