One of the great privileges of being married to the preacher is being able to tag along when she does anything official... Like opening the pre-school Christmas pageant with prayer Thursday evening.
Wow, what a hoot (I'm talking about the program, not the prayer!). We have a collection of the most adorable children you could ever hope to run into at a church pre-school event.
I think the experience was especially poignant in light of yesterday's (widely read) post about hate-based religion. These pre-schoolers were/are all about Jesus. When Jesus infiltrates even the hokey-pokey (see below) then you know you're in the presence of holiness. And by "holiness" I mean beings directly connected to the mind and the love and the intention of God.
The highlight of the evening was their enthusiastic interpretation of The Hokey-Pokey. "You give yourself to Jesus and you turn your heart around; that's what it's all about. Give... your heart to Jesus. Give... your heart to Jesus. Give... your heart to Jesus. That's what it's all about!"
That really is what it's all about! The idea of connecting ourselves to the mind and love and the intention of God is all about turning our hearts around. That's what the word repent means. A one hundred eighty degree turn. About face. New direction.
These kids get it on a heart level. They may not be old enough to deal with abstract theological concepts and to swallow doctrinal mumbo-jumbo. But they're astute enough to understand that God loves them.
Sometimes I worry that we, as grown-ups, keep our distance from God because we're afraid that we'll do the hokey-pokey and God will turn our hearts around. We're scared of the raw emotional truth of redemption. We're not about to give up any of the control we worked so hard to achieve for so long - and at such great cost.
So how's that working for you? You know, the control thing? Why not risk God?
Ask the kids. They know. Ask Rebekah - look at the picture - she talks with the two's, three's and four's about it all the time.
Christmas Joy - DEREK