by Adam Kronberger / Superintendent
My favorite non-religious holiday is the 4th of July. It always seems like the official start to summer and the beginning of consistent sunshine. Our neighborhood does a big block party in front of our house, complete with food, a kids parade, and of course fireworks purchased across the border. This past summer, one neighbor brought out an extremely large homemade set of Jenga blocks. Instead of small blocks you could hold in your hand, they were made from 2x4 and 2x6 scraps. The combined weight of the set must have easily been over 100 pounds. You had to be careful when playing, because when the 6 foot tower fell over, your toes could receive quite the consequence for losing. Not only was the game a rough one, but the blocks themselves were rough. After the tower would fall, a splinter would inevitably find its way into my skin as the tower was rebuilt.
Our lives are very similar to the game of Jenga. Through growth, learning, and work, our lives are being built up like a tower, often reaching new heights. But because sin is a part of our world and our lives, the tower can come crashing down in an instant. The lives we build in this fallen creation are unbalanced and teetering, susceptible to the changing winds. Yet while we may get knocked down, we know we are to rebuild. But even then, our best efforts leave us with splinters in our hands. The enemy wants nothing more than this constant building and crashing and rebuilding of our lives to lead to madness.
The loving Creator of the universe wants to replace the madness with hope, joy, and peace. The awareness and acknowledgment of the madness of our lives is the very thing that can lead us to peace in Jesus Christ. He is the solution, but first we must admit the problem. Our lives can’t be perfect and never will be, apart from the saving grace of Jesus Christ. If we attempt to live a perfect life, or pretend to live a perfect life, while behind the scenes life is crashing down around us, we will experience more pain than simple slivers in our hands.
It is a common thought among children that they are perfect, and a common claim by parents that their children are perfect. Those thoughts and claims are not only woefully inaccurate, but increasingly dangerous. Without awareness of their significant depravity, children will see no need for a Savior. Before we can help train “good kids”, we must succeed in helping them recognize their “badness”. Children who constantly believe they are intrinsically good all the time will be confused by the gospel message. But when they are genuinely poor in spirit and sorrowful over sin, they truly become citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven receiving constant comfort in the midst of life’s trials. Then the tower God builds in our children’s lives may be full of holes, but can withstand the storms of life.
– Adam Kronberger / Superintendent