The BFG and the Gospel, Part 5: The Big Failed God?
This series shares the content of the Wildkids Day Camp I'm leading for 5th/6th graders at our church this week.
God is often understood to be...
- Ancient and Enormous (un-relatable)
- Otherworldly (not usually around)
- Undetectable (only in our dreams?)
- Frightening (man-eating?)
- Confusing (uses big, strange words)
The Bible contains many stories about faith overcoming fear, confusion and many other obstacles to knowing God.
Today we are asking, "Is God the Big Failed God?"
We left off yesterday with Jesus demonstrating his power through loving restraint. By his fragility we have been made strong. Likewise, God's power is made perfect in our own fragility.
Today we are focusing on the appearance of the resurrected Jesus to his fearful disciples, as remembered by his disciple John (John 20:19-23).
The doors were locked because the disciples feared they would suffer the same fate as their leader who had seemed to fail. They had thought Jesus was the one who would save their people, but he ended up dead on a cross, like so many other hopeful leaders before him. If Jesus were truly the Son of God - as they had believed on the boat - then he was a Big Failed God.
Then Jesus showed up in their midst and spoke the words they needed to hear. "Peace be with you." Until Jesus appeared alive and well, they had known anything but peace. Their hearts and minds were stormier than the lake had ever been.
And Jesus did not show up just to say, "Ta-da!" and be off. He came to recruit them all over again. "As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you."
Remember The BFG's mission? To inspire children with dreams of what could be, and now, with Sophie's help, to protect children from the hungry man-eating giants.
Jesus was the coming of God into our world. He brought the Kingdom-Dream of God to his disciples and now through his disciples, this dream is spreading to an ever-widening circle of people.
A central reality of God's Dream is that we would know God's forgiveness and extend this forgiveness to others. This undeserved gift is called grace. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to his disciples with the mission to share God's forgiveness of sins with anyone who hears it and to hold back forgiveness from those who resist God's Dream for the world.
When Jesus appeared risen to his friends, the Big God they thought had Failed had in fact proven to be Faithful.
Jesus is The Big Faithful, Forgiving, Freeing God. The BFG of BFGs!