NEWS & NOTES
Kids, for the most part, are not afraid of making themselves known. You don’t have to dig very deep to discover what they want, what they need, or how they feel. You might not have to dig at all—there’s a good chance they’ve already told you.
I envy them. What I want or feel is often buried under deep layers of insecurities, doubt, and the long list of ways I’ve learned to distrust grace and love. Ways I’ve learned not to dare believe anyone might want to provide me with what I need or want. Ways I’ve learned to hide.
I sat down many times over the last few weeks to try and write an essay on “Things I’ve learned As Your Children’s Director.” I kept coming up short. Not because I haven’t learned anything, but because the things I’ve learned are so cliche and expected—things that we all “know,” on some level or another, and might give an academic nod when we hear them. I think we would all agree and give a compulsory “hear, hear!” that hiding and burying the things that make us most human is probably a bad idea. But here I am, learning and unlearning all the ways I’ve done just that. I’ve learned a lot. I won’t bore you with the details. I probably wouldn’t convince you, anyway. You might end up giving me a lot of academic nods.
That’s why I envy kids. They won’t give you an academic nod. They don’t want one from you, either. They’re either tracking with you, or they’re not. Their honesty is often only tolerable because they “don’t know any better.” They haven’t learned how to hide yet. They are not afraid of being seen. Why would they be?
I don’t often pretend to know what Jesus meant when he spoke. But maybe “unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” was Jesus’ way of saying, “Stop hiding.”
Family, thank you for letting me lead our children’s ministry over the past few years. I am so glad to call these young ones my friends, and am excited to find new ways to teach and learn with them, and with you all. May we give fewer academic nods, and instead help bring each other out of hiding and into the kingdom of heaven.
THIS COMING SUNDAY
ON BEING POOR
Pastor Mark Bergin
We devote much energy to projecting our image of uprightness to the world and almost as much energy giving attention to others who successfully do the same. We want to be thought of as good and so we surround ourselves with those who’ve achieve that status in hopes of obtaining credit by association. But the way of Jesus is different. He associated with the lowly, the unsuccessful, the poor. And it was not pity that moved him to do so, but solidarity. Jesus knew his own lowliness, his own poverty. He knew that to be human is to be a beggar, one who depends on another for life. It is until we know and love our poverty that we will know and love our people. We belong among the poor, where mercy triumphs over judgment.