I wonder what was separated that is now connected?
I recently came across this story told from a Godly Play teacher. If you are unfamiliar with the Godly Play curriculum we use for our children on Sunday mornings it is a Montessori based way of teaching bible stories that involves story, wonder, liturgy, discover and joy as children seek and find the mystery of God's presence. The story is as follows:
Does anyone in your context ever doubt the spiritual capacity of children?
Our children know God. God knows our children. What we do is share sacred stories, prayer practices, traditions, and language. But they know God. They know God deeply.
Seven year old boy who has been involved with Godly Play stories for 5 years.
Yesterday he worked with the desert. All the people on one side. Temple on the other. Rivers. And right in the middle the chain separating the people from the ark.
He said, “you know, if you turn the chain this way, it’s a bridge instead of a wall.”
I haven't been able to stop thinking about this story since I read it. These simple pieces that are used to tell the great stories of the Bible have made alive the ancient people of God. In the busyness of the Advent season (especially when you work at a church) its easy for me to get swept up in the constant calendar events and parties and presents. One quick look at the Cathedral calendar during December will show you what I mean. While I value and cherish the opportunity to attend all these events leading up to Christmas, I tend to see those things as barriers that prevent me from slowing down and waiting on Christ. After reading this child's interpretation of a chain becoming a bridge, I wonder if I can allow these things to draw me closer to Christ in this season instead of preventing me from being patient and contemplative?
As we get closer to Christmas and celebrating the birth of our Savior can you find things that you thought were preventing you from connecting with God and use them to draw you closer to the gift of Christ and his birth? And if you need a little help, just ask a child!