[#pictureLent] February 24: THINK

12 Feb 24 Think-01.jpg

By Rev. Chris Lantz
First United Methodist Church
LaGrange, IN

First, read Mark 8:31-33

My two and a half year old loves Winnie the Pooh. Her room is decorated with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Kanga (and little Roo), Eeyore, and Piglet splashed on the walls. Her favorite movie at the moment is a Winnie the Pooh movie her grandma got her for Christmas. She loves Winnie the Pooh!

One of Pooh’s favorite things to do (outside of eating honey, of course) is to think. “Think, think, think,” Pooh will say when he and Piglet are trying to solve a problem and they just can’t figure it out.

For Pooh, thinking is an important part of slowing down, refocusing, and allowing his (and the rest of his friends) brain to process what he is feeling and processing.

Often times, we struggle with the idea of thinking when it comes to our faith. We feel that when we think we are not being faithful. Yet, even in our text, in the midst of Jesus’ rebuke of Peter, Jesus reminds Peter to think! 

Critical thinking (i.e. using our brains) is vitally important to our faith development as Christians. God gave us a brain with the full intention that we would use it. Our faith should drive us to ask questions, be curious, wrestle with the mysteries and uncertainties that are presented to us every day.

This is why I encourage everyone in my congregation to be a part of a Bible study or Sunday School class or Small Group. That’s why I encourage you not to simply take my word or your pastor’s word or anyone else’s word as gospel but to go and reflect and read for yourself. It is in our thinking, it is in the mysteries of our faith where we truly encounter the risen Christ in our midst.

Prayer: Gracious God, give us the courage to use our brains and live out our lives in a way that brings honor to you. May we all live our faith lives in the spirit of Winnie the Pooh and “think, think, think.” Amen.

Discussion/Reflection Questions: 

1. When was the last time you really thought hard about an aspect of faith? How did it make you feel?
2. What are some ways you can encourage yourself and others to think more deeply about the Christian faith?
3. God gave us a brain with the full intention of using it. How can we use our brains every day to increase our faith?