United Church of Christ

Impossible Things

“On the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.” Luke 24:1-4 (NRSV)

Personally, I think rationality is overrated, especially when we live with children. I doubt we can motor through a single day as parents unless, as practical theologian Lewis Carroll wrote, we are willing to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

That’s why, when my kid was little, I hit the pause button on logic, especially in the Bible. I taught her the miracles as pure, undiluted facts—no hedging, no tidy revision to accommodate science. Did Jesus walk on water? You betcha. Did Moses bring water from a rock? Absolutely.

When she asked about Easter, I told her that Jesus died on a Friday and was raised from death on a Sunday. I told her about dazzling angels and weeping women and disciples who wouldn’t believe. I told her I didn’t know exactly how it happened, but I believed it happened.

I told her about the resurrection because I wanted her always to be able to find her way back to life from the hundred little deaths she would have to endure during her lifetime. I wanted her to have a breadcrumb trail to retrace her weary steps from despair to hope. I figured if she had a narrative for resurrection, then she had a fighting chance of survival in a world where death really knows how to deal a blow.

It didn’t hurt her a bit. She grew up to be an imaginative soul who can hold together a huge armful of contradictory truths without breaking a sweat. And she still has that fighting chance.

Prayer
God of Impossible Things: Help us to fret less about impossible things.

Small Group Discussion

About the Author
Elizabeth Chandler Felts contributed this devotional to Hard and Holy: Devotions for Parenting, a collection of devotionals for the spiritual practice of raising, teaching, learning from, delighting in, and cleaning up after children. Order Hard and Holy today.

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