Crossroads: Evidence

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John 20:19-31

My Story

I love who-done-its. Whether they are books, TV shows, or movies, I love reading or watching them and trying to figure out who did it. These are your CSI type shows, your murder mysteries, etc. While they may not seem like it, these are safe. No matter what, you know that you will find out what happens. The evidence will pile up, arrests will be made, and justice will be served. None of these require a leap of faith, because you know that even if it takes several books or several episodes, the evidence will be there. You will discover exactly why and how they did it. Most of the time, these books, shows, and movies wrap everything up nicely for us. But real life isn’t like that. Real life is messier. We aren’t guaranteed that we will know why anything happens or find all of the evidence to support what we believe. That’s where faith, particularly leaps of faith, comes in.

Your Story

Have you ever had to take a leap of faith? Did something ever seem impossible but it happened anyway? Tell your children about a time when you have taken a leap of faith, or about a time when you wish you had. If your children are older (at least 3rd grade), talk about a time when you doubted something because you couldn’t see any evidence.

The Bible Story

Read John 20:19-31 from a child-friendly translation.

In Alice In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll writes “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” Sometimes our lives feel this way—that we have to believe impossible things. We cannot see God; that’s where faith comes in. It seems impossible that Jesus rose from the dead, because nobody else had done it. Even some of his disciples, who had been with him through all the miracles and had seen the pain of the crucifixion, didn’t believe it. In John 20:19-31, Jesus appears to the disciples. He showed them the nail marks on his hands and they knew that it was Jesus. He was alive! But Thomas, one of the disciples, wasn’t with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him about it, but he just couldn’t believe. He hadn’t seen the evidence, and Jesus rising from the dead seemed to be an impossible thing. Eventually Jesus appears to Thomas and shows him what Thomas desperately needed, proof that the impossible had happened, that Jesus had risen from the dead.

Like Thomas, we struggle with doubt. There are times when it seems as if God isn’t there and maybe we made the whole thing up. But then something happens. Perhaps it is the leaves changing, a sudden rush of wind, or a brand new life being born into this world. There are things all around us that point us to God. Unlike Thomas, we cannot see Jesus’ scars. We have to take a leap of faith. But the doubts become easier when we look around and see what God has created. When you doubt (and you will doubt), take a good look around you, at the teenage boy mowing the grass for the senior adult lady who lives next door. Take a look at the leaves changing or the flowers blooming after a long winter. At the wonder in a child’s eyes as they learn more about God or discover something new. God understands that leaps of faith can be hard for us. And so he gives us these gifts all around us so that we will know that He is there. And that makes faith a little easier.

Discussion and Action

• Ask your children if something has seemed impossible to them
• Ask them if they have ever doubted something
• Talk to them about ways that we know that God is there, even though we can’t see Him
• Find a way to help someone this week- who knows, you may even help them believe that God is there

Prayer

Ask God to remind you that He is always there, even when you doubt. Ask Him for more faith- the Bible says that He’ll give it to us!

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

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