The Cold Springer - Week of Sept. 30, 2018
Sunday, September 30th, 2018 - Holy Eucharist
Faith, Fear and Bravery
This week, in the “big” church, we get to hear a passage from the story of Esther. The Book of Esther is popular with members of the Jewish faith because it gives a historical account of their plight during the Persian Empire. Queen Esther, a Jew, chose to speak up for her people who were under dire threat. Her husband, King Ahasuerus was being manipulated by his second in command, Haman, to kill all of the Jews. But, with the support of her father Mordecai, Esther stood up against Haman, pleading for her own life and the life of her people. Haman was hung from the very gallows he had built to hang Mordecai. An edict is proclaimed that the Jewish people could congregate and defend themselves. This event in the history of God’s relationship with us is marked by the Jewish holiday of Purim.
Our churches are indeed sanctuaries, in a sense: apart from the world. It maybe this very perspective that causes us to cringe when we hear such violent stories in the bible. There is enough violence outside our church doors, right? But in these stories we hear deep truths, even truths that can help us to raise faithful, brave children.
Of course we want to protect them, but the values we encourage in our children form them to make a difference the world. Indeed, we protect and form them that they can move beyond the walls of our homes, following their own paths with confidence and hope.
The poet Kahlil Gibran once wrote “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. You are the bow from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.”
Children are never too young to be brave. It may even be that they unlearn bravery as their fear of the world increases. It is our responsibility, as parents, to build a balanced foundation for them, knowing that in God - through faith, the stories, the hope, and the reward - we find the source of our strength and wisdom.
Oh, and if you think Esther was brave, check this New York Times obituary.
Yours in Christ!
The Reverend Jesse Lebus
This week in Children’s Chapel our young students will encounter the Creation Story. They will see the 7 days, illustrated on wooden cards and laid out before them, and they will hear how God declared each part of creation “Good.” Light and dark, the waters above and below, the earth, the day and night, all the creatures, and even human beings. All Good!
In offering background on this story the founder of the Godly Play movement, Jerome Berryman, offers this thought and question: We begin to play hide-and-seek with the Holy One and ask, “What can we know of the Giver by the gift.”
After each Godly Play lesson, the storyteller asks the children a series of wondering questions. These questions are posed to help the children discover what is already in them: an abiding sense of the divine. “I wonder which one of these days you like the best?” “I wonder which day is most important?” “I wonder which day you are in or which one is about you?”
Elements Of Faith
Our Elements of Faith Class had a great time learning the parts of the church, from the Narthex to the Choir and all the stuff in between. As a group they decided that they would design and build a Baptismal Font for the Children’s Chapel.
With the help of Debbie Reder and Stacey Parks they will get this project started this week. I will be stoked to join them and begin a discussion on Baptism.
On the weekend of Columbus Day, both the Children’s Chapel and our Elements of Faith class will combine to decorate the Font.