There are times when we need to get to the heart of the matter, to say what we truly believe. From my years in the church I know one of those times is preaching the Children’s sermon on Sunday mornings. These 3, 4 and 5 year olds taught me that I had to get to the heart of the matter in 38 seconds, or my time was up. Pick a parable, any parable, and try to imagine getting to the heart of the message in 38 seconds. I found it could be done, because I had very emphatic teachers. These young ones were most hungry for the meat, and not at all interested in the buffet portion of the feast.
~ from Relying on the Moon: Companioning Grief for 29 Days
Perhaps faith can best be explained on a Full Moon night. You can see~ even in the dark. This was always an interesting thing to say with my boys as they grew up. They would look at me like I was nutty and say, “Seeing in the dark? No way!” With faith, all things are possible.
Especially in this season children can teach us, if we are paying attention. We have to be clear, succinct, and truthful when talking with them. Young children can tell right away otherwise, at least I know our boys could. They could always tell if I knew what I was talking about, or if I was stalling. Somehow they could always tell.
What are you seeking this Advent? What are you waiting for, looking for even in the dark? Maybe it would be helpful to return to our teachers, our children to find words for this yearning? One who will seek after and find the lost? One who will honor laughter and tears alike? One who will heal our broken places and will promise never to leave us?
Remember those words written by the prophet Isaiah centuries ago? They are still true today. Remember? Sure you do, it went something like this… “and a little child shall lead them…”
Breath prayers: “seeing” “in the dark”
Prayer: Loving God, who brings light to the darkness and love to our most fearful places, remind us we pray to watch, to trust, to live into your promise. Amen.
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.