Thursday, January 18, 2007

Little theologian

Cooper in his new Red Sox T-shirt. (His last name is on the back!) It was a gift from Matthew & Gretchen, who we'll see over spring break. We're all going to a Boston-Detroit spring training game! Cooper's been a huge Red Sox fan since our trip last spring.

Cooper has been interested in theology for about as long as he could talk. (Our friend Berta has called him a future preacher since he was 2.) We have all kinds of discussions, prompted by his questions and musings -- why Jesus had to die, why God loves even robbers and other bad guys, how God is like infinity, why God can't bring Emma back to life. Apparently he and his friends talk about such weighty matters at school, too.

Recently, one of his friends, "Lyle*," told Cooper that we're not God's children. Cooper has been upset about it ever since. He wants to talk about it at least once a day. I'm trying to explain that people have different beliefs about God and religion, and that's OK. You don't have to change what you believe, but you should be respectful of others' beliefs. (And I have no idea what Lyle and his family believe. He could have just been argumentative that day at the cafeteria table.)

We were having that Lyle discussion in the carpool lane this morning (it was much too cold to walk) when he asked about "Harnia." I had no idea what he was talking about. Narnia? I finally figured out that he meant Hanukkah. We had read a couple of books about the holiday in December, and his class learned about it, too. So, I reminded him about the miracle of the oil lasting eight days. And he wanted to know if we, meaning Christians, believe in that miracle, too.
It was certainly more involved than the next 90 seconds would allow, but I've been thinking about it since. I think my answer should have been that Christians don't celebrate it in the same way, but some may believe in the miracle and can certainly honor the occasion by learning more about the holiday and their fellow children of God. I'm certain the subject will come up again -- I'll at least be better prepared.

* not his real name

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