“‘Church is something for old people, if it were for teenagers it would never be this early in the morning for starters.’
Or something like this from one of my tall kids. So, we found ourselves taking a break from the finding of the shoes and the who has my sweater and the for the love Sam go back up and put your socks on, for a few minutes.
And God was listening… once again I would get shivers in the pew this morning.
But first, ‘You guys, church is for you… I promise it is. The church actually needs you; you are the future of the whole thing and without you, God’s message won’t go on.’
‘But what if we find out later another religion totally different from ours was right? And this is all for nothing…’
‘Ya, and what if I become Hindu, will God still love me?’
‘Of course, being Catholic isn’t the only way to know God. And the church needs your questions, and these are good ones… that you can think about in church. And for sure someone else is also right. God is big and mysterious and none of us have it all right. That is impossible. And we go to church to sit in quiet to just know him and to learn about him and to thank him. Also, it’s only an hour, and we’re leaving.’
I feel this was a pretty good balance of theology and getting people out the door on a Sunday morning.
So, we get to church, and the sermon was, you guessed it, ON THIS VERY TOPIC.
Well played God.
As Father started talking to us about the stance the Catholic church has on other religions, I turned around to make sure my people were listening because for Pete’s sake clearly, God was talking right to them.
He talked about the love God has for all his people. And how we believe and honor the truth in all religions. And that it is our job as Christians to show others the love and truth in our own faith with our actions. We need to love each other and others and come to the table with people who are different than us with hearts full of love.
And right in the bulletin was this quote:
We need to put away the idea that our Church has a monopoly on the Truth and fully accept embrace the love God has for all of His children.
That is the stuff that will keep our kids in church friends. This generation is not interested in who is right… they are interested in truth. They know truth is not simple because their lives are not simple. And they are not going to be spoon-fed theology and then just believe it and move on.
They are questioners, they are looking to find God in all places, they are looking for a way to accept all people in a way I believe God is actually calling us to do and they are the ones that might save us all.
And they are also interested in a mass that starts a little later apparently.
God is so much bigger than one human religion can ever, ever capture. It’s fairly arrogant actually to think a few humans have Him all figured out.
And if nothing else the more I read the Bible and go to church the more I see the layers that don’t give me the answers to all the little things but instead lead me to more questions about the big things.
The things that really matter and can unite us…there is so much common ground there we can all agree on. We can love each other in the overlap.
Our God is a wonderful and loving God for example.
And I think we can agree we want our children to know God, whether they find him in a Catholic church or a synagogue or a non-denominational congregation or somewhere else…that is not for me to decide.
That is between them and God. And if I have to trust someone with my kids, God is the one I want to trust.
I’ll keep taking them to church and I will go with them to theirs if they someday choose another, I will teach them all I believe to be true and I will keep praying they know God.
And I’ll be grateful for the questions that make us a little late for church on Sunday because clearly, God is listening to us around the kitchen island too.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hiding in the Closet with Coffee by Amy Betters-Midtvedt. The article originally appeared here. Follow Amy on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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