By Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel
I was in a meeting recently, when one person in it shared with me a photo, of his four year old grandson, marching proudly out in front of a procession, at the end of the service, one Sunday. Actually he told me it happens, or something like it, on most Sundays. He relayed to me how much he was learning from watching his grandson, honor the worship going on around him, being in awe of it. My friend marveled at how his grandson would stop all of his restlessness, all of his playing with other things, when the processional began. Even at the age of four, he knew something important was going to happen, and he did not want to miss it.
I have experienced the same awe when I take an infant, after a baptism, on a blessing tour around the church. Many mothers, and fathers, are a bit nervous about that, mostly because they wonder if the child will behave, or worse yet be worried. I have never had a problem. Most of the children are spell bound by it all.
We can learn something from this. Children are not bound or burdened with human wisdom yet. Their cues come from the Spirit, and they follow them dutifully. They are miraculous teachers, leading the procession. We would be wise to follow.
What is the faith you remember at the age of four? Or at your youngest memory?
What, through these readings, has been revealed to you by the Spirit?
Holy One, may we rely less on the wisdom we think we have, or that we think we must attain, and instead rejoice in the gift of the Spirit that leads us. Amen.
The Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel is bishop of the Diocese of Olympia in Washington State