The Cold Springer - Week of Sept. 23, 2018
Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 - Morning Prayer
Children are Welcome!
“Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then Jesus took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” -from the Gospel of Mark
We’ll get a chance to hear that passage proclaimed this Sunday, but it really reminds me of what we experienced this past week. From infants to teenagers we welcomed nearly 40 young people to St. John’s on Sunday. I truly believe what Jesus tells us, that by welcoming the children we are indeed welcoming the Lord.
As I dropped off my daughter at nursery school this week I noticed something, a little boy yanking on a teachers hem. The teacher turned towards him, lowered herself to sit on her heels, looked him in the eye and asked him what he needed. She met the child at his level, she did not talk down to him. He was acknowledged and heard.
This is what we believe God did for us. In Jesus Christ, God met us at eye level. God decided not to talk down to us anymore, but to meet us where we stand. And through Jesus, the true manifestation of loving kindness, we are asked to pay it forward to our own children. Our sons and daughters and the children who we support in the community, through Baptism and prayer.
We all want to know the presence of God in our lives. Let’s stop looking up. God is underfoot, stoop down and meet him face to face.
Yours in Christ!
The Reverend Jesse Lebus
This week our young students will hear the Holy Family lesson. It is, at first glance, a model of the nativity. Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus in a manger, three wise men, a shepherd... We introduce the characters and place them on a field of colored felt, the color of our church season.
However, the Holy Family holds deep significance for our work throughout the entire year. The Holy Family is the matrix - the latin word for womb - out of which new life comes. This story is the re-creation of the universe. Christ’s incarnation changes everything. Most especially, it changes the way we understand ourselves, each other, the Creator and the created world around us.
The axis of life in the Christian tradition is birth-death-rebirth. The children begin to perceive this axis through the naming of the Holy Family, and through the careful, respectful moving of the figures. We do not talk about this meaning, but we wait for the children themselves to discover it. We, like the Holy Family, are invited to be creators in the biological, psychological, social and spiritual spheres of life.
Elements of Faith
This week in Elements of Faith, the older children will begin “exploring” the church. Through a simple map and lots of fun they will become acquainted what is in the church. Narthex? Sacristy? Altar, font, choir, pulpit...You might need to ask your kids what these things are after Sunday, if you don’t already know.
Becoming familiar with the things in our church and the parts of our church is an important part of our tradition. It gives us a visual reference for a faith which is at times abstract and mysterious; once we know where and what the font is and what happens there, we can begin to wonder and deepen our understanding of how and why it happens.
As we move through this process, the children will be asked to remember the Children’s Chapel. What parts of the “big” church are in the “little” church? What things are not there. There are a couple of things that our Children’s Chapel does not have and in the coming weeks our Elements of Faith class will help provide a missing piece. Maybe a font or a Paschal Candle...you know what a Paschal Candle is right?
Youth & Families
Saturday, September 22nd @ 9am-Noon
Friday, September 28 @ 6pm - 8pm