"You shall be Holy, as I am Holy" 1 Peter says...
Sunday, I had a fantastic experience. I taught Sunday School to over 40 children of a wide range of ages. We discussed the meaning of Holy Communion. We talked about who Jesus is. We talked about what Jesus taught, the miracles he performed. (Some of the preschoolers were very focused on the feeding of the 5000). We talked about Palm Sunday, his Last Supper, Passover and what that is, Jesus' death and Resurrection.
Honestly, I was very impressed with how much they knew. They seemed to get it - even the young ones. The Sunday school and/or parents of these children are doing a great job.... and then it came.... one particularly precocious 4 year old (I won't name names) asked a question near the end of the class... "Why did Jesus have to die, anyway?"
Wow. From a 4 year old. He can tell you all about Jesus, his life, his ministry, his death and resurrection. But here was the WHY question. He said it wasn't fair that Jesus was a good man and he had to die.
So, the only way I could explain it was to explain that if people were supposed to be good 100% of the time - all day every day and all night every night, and they weren't - they did something bad - they made bad choices, hurt other people, hurt themselves or hurt God they couldn't do anything to make up for it - because they had to be good and make good choices all the time - there wasn't "time off" when they could just do whatever they wanted.
Then a 9 year old said "well all you have to do is pray and say you're sorry!"
Exactly.. because of Jesus' death and resurrection, all we have to do is pray and say we're sorry. And that is why we live lives of faith and that is why we strive daily, hourly even, to be Holy as He is Holy. Out of thanksgiving for the life we have been given and the forgiveness and debt Jesus paid for us, we are called to live our lives thankfully and lovingly - toward God and toward each other.
I hope they got it. I hope we get it.