Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
February 28, 2024 Creekwood United Methodist Church

Perceived Value - Deep Thoughts

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Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

“The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopards will lie down with the young goat; the calf and the young lion will feed together, and a little child will lead them.”

-Isaiah 11:6 NRSV

Children don’t have all the right answers.

Kids are not perfect, despite how cute and innocent they may seem in our eyes.

Just because a kid does something doesn’t mean we all have to stop and applaud.

But children do have a proclivity for making us pause in our tracks.

For example:

child helping rabbit statue

I’ve passed by a lot of people struggling on the street. I’ve passed by a lot of adults who have passed by a lot of people struggling on the street. It’s not that we don’t have a heart, but there are too many tasks, questions, or excuses to stop. I’ll never forget my oldest kid, when she was around 8 years old and we were at an intersection in Dallas, asked me, “Dad, why aren’t you helping that man? Aren’t we supposed to help everyone?”

Isaiah’s prophecy of Israel’s return to Eden-like peace under a David reign may very well be a foreshadowing of the baby Jesus who brought the very presence of God into our lives in a tangible way; but it’s also simply audacious imagery for a child to hold the reigns of this caustic mixture of fauna that should make us pause and wonder what this child knows that we don’t.

Why can the child imagine something so surreal and the adults can’t?

Perhaps a child is still naive enough to believe good wins over evil?

Perhaps a young person hears the words to “help everyone” and still wants to please those in authority telling her to do so?

Perhaps a child is still dependent…and maybe there’s some empathy for those who’d rather be taken care of than attacked?

What do we think? Are we smarter than a 5th grader? Are we as faithful as a child?


David Lessner

PS – my inspiration in writing this is a video Pastor Keri Lynn sent me of the 3-5th grade class. They are very smart and very faithful! Our Creekwood Kids and Students are the best!

Take a look: