It’s the children

It’s the children that bring me back. Last night, Maundy Thursday, little 2-year-old Charlie came forward holding her mommy’s hand, face beaming, absolutely beaming. I put my hands on her head, like I do all of us more serious grown-ups, and tell her that Jesus has forgiven her sins. Of course, there was much she didn’t understand. But she did understand that she was standing in church with her mom, and Jesus had something to do with it, and it was good, very good. What if we all walk into forgiveness with our faces beaming because we are so confident and trusting in God’s goodness?

Then there was Evan. He is in kindergarten and was sitting near the front of the church with his family. He decided that he too wanted to participate in the foot washing. (Understandably, not everyone participates.) So he got up on his own, took off his socks and shoes and stood quietly for his turn to be washed and to wash. Did he know why we do it? Do we know why we do it? He knew that Jesus had washed his disciples feet and invited us to do the same. He knew he was invited. I am told that when he got back to his family, he said: That was awesome. Maybe he does indeed know something we don’t.

And Lily was there, only a few years older than Evan, with intense eyes that hint at her deep thinking and her poet’s heart. She had chosen her dress and the matching dress of her doll carefully because on this night she would receive communion for the first time. I took one look at her and knew she thought that communion was one of the most important gifts she could receive. She was hungry for the bread and wine, the body and blood of our Lord, like few other people in the congregation.

Jesus said that the realm of God is made up of those who have faith like a little child. It’s the children that bring me back to being a beaming, washed, nourished child of God again in this holy week.