There is a story about a pastor that was new to the church he was serving. He decided to visit the children's Sunday school classes to meet the teachers, the kids, and to find out what the children were learning. When he showed up one Sunday, the teacher told the pastor that they were studying Joshua.
The pastor wanted to find out what the children knew, so he asked the children what he thought would be an easy question: "Who tore down the walls of Jericho?" One little boy, Johnny, must have gotten in trouble a lot, or at least was accused of doing wrong things, because he quickly answered, "I didn't do it!"
That wasn't the answer that the pastor was expecting so he asked again, a little more forcefully, "Come on, now, who tore down the walls of Jericho?" The teacher responded this time: "Pastor," she said, "Johnny's a good boy. If he says he didn't do it, I believe he didn't do it."
The pastor was really concerned now, so he went to the Sunday School Director to talk about what was taking place in the children's Sunday school class. After the pastor explained what had taken place, the Director said, "Pastor, we have had some problems with Johnny before. Let me talk to him and see what we can do."
Now really bothered, the pastor went to the Deacons of the church and again explained, including the responses he had gotten from the Teacher and the Director. One of the more mature people on the Board of Deacons thought for a moment, and then replied, "Pastor, I move we just take the money from the general fund to pay for the wall to be rebuilt and leave it at that." Then the Deacon added: "We know that little Johnny didn't tear down the walls of Jericho - it must have been those kids from the church down the street."
We [hopefully] know that little Johnny didn't tear down the walls of Jericho and neither did the kids from the church down the street. We [hopefully] know that it was God that tore down the walls as Joshua and the Israelites marched around the city and blew their trumpets. But if asked that question, what would our response be?
We are approaching the middle of Lent. During Lent, we have been challenged to read the Bible and we have provided an organized way to do that using the daily readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. I'm not going to approach you when I see you and ask some random question about the most recent readings. (By the way, I don't want anyone to do that to me either.) The point of our reading is not to answer trivia questions, but to get to know God better and better.
So, I pray that as you are on this Lenten journey this year, you are experiencing God's grace and knowing the hope only He can bring as you travel along. Know that it is God!