Bringing the Joy and the Wisdom

I have been meeting with the coolest – niftiest – most intriguing group of people on Sundays after worship for the past few weeks.   Seriously – these are 4 amazingly interesting – inspiring human beings with so much to offer the world. I am downright dazzled by them. I look forward to our time together all week.

As the oldest (by decades) person in the room and the person with the most letters in front of and after my name – I am supposed to be teaching them and imparting wisdom to them. I am their pastor and teacher (and in Will’s case – his mom). I have far more formal education than they do. I have more degrees – more gray hair – and more life experience. I have read the Bible – both of Martin Luther’s Catechisms (the Small and the Large/snooze fest) – War and Peace (loved it) – and Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (about 1,000 times).

And – yet these 4 elementary school-aged folks teach me something new every single time we gather together. They help me see our faith – our God – and the world in which we all live with new eyes and from a fresh perspective. I love hearing their take on everything from God to Covid-19 to snacking to eternal life.

This week the focus of our First Communion class was God’s love for us.   We started off chatting about the folks who love them. They are very loved individuals. They all came up with nice – long lists of people who love them and people they love in return. And they kept thinking of new people to add to their lists (adorable).

We talked about God’s love for us. And how much God loves each and every single one of us more than words can say. We thought about how much you would have to love someone to die on a cross for them (A WHOLE LOT)!!!!!!!   And we talked about how when we take Holy Communion – it reminds us that God loves us with a love that goes on and on forever and ever and ever.

We did a heart craft to remind ourselves God loves us and will always love us no matter what.

Then it came time for us to explore our church. We were going on a scavenger hunt with a purpose. Our goal was to find things around Saint Stephen that reminded us God loves us.

We started off in the fellowship hall. I thought it was going quite well. I was having fun. Then I heard – “Ummm – Mom – I think it would be A LOT more fun if you went back to your office and we did this by OURSELVES.”

Okay then. Not so subtle hint heard and received. They aren’t babies and didn’t need me or my help. They so totally had this assignment under control.

So – I went to my office like a relatively obedient clergy-person . . . But I kept my door open and I wandered around the church A LOT (I can be rebellious like that).

And the mighty-foursome set forth into Saint Stephen all by themselves to find things that reminded them of God’s love for them.

They laughed. They giggled. They played tag. They goofed. They may have galloped a time or thirteen. They hurried and hustled and hopped around. They were silly and happy and joyful and very – very – very juvenile.

And they came up with a wonderful list of things around their church that make them think of God’s love for them.

– The crosses. (They pointed out there are A LOT of crosses around Saint Stephen.)

– The Jesus statue on the wall

– The shepherds in the nursery

– The hearts in Ms. Tammy’s room

– The Communion on the chairs (the grape juice and wafers)

– The colorful windows

– The hearts in the crosses (Luther’s Rose/Luther’s Seal)

– The posters about God and Jesus that we have “all over the place”

As they were exploring and laughing and playing and goofing and delighting in being alive – I couldn’t help but think to myself that the 4 of them – themselves – were wonderful reminders of God’s love.

All week I have remembered the blessing of their laughter – their joy – their delight.

And I have kept my heart and eyes open for reminders of God’s love as I worked at church. As I was running errands. As I walked with Jason in the early evening. As I puttered around our house doing this and that. As I watched the rain fall.   As I wondered just how much ice we would get later this week?!?!?!?!?

I didn’t have my friends around to turn it into a joyful – joyous – rousing game of tag – but I have still seen so many wonderful reminders of God’s love for us this week. I have been blessed. I am thankful.

Where have you seen God’s presence lately? How have you been reminded of God’s love for you? Have you been looking and listening and watching?

You are all in my heart – thoughts – and prayers.

In Christ and with Love –

Pastor Kerri

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