The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. Isaiah 35:1-2
Church was canceled, one snowy day when I was in seminary. My kids were little, and I thought maybe I could do something for them related to worship. It was also a way to keep them occupied for a bit. It would be too cold and early for them to go outside to play.
Isaiah 35 was the text for that Sunday. I asked my kids to draw a picture of what they saw when they heard me read the text. My 5-year-old McKenna drew a lively flower blooming and a road in the wilderness. In the middle of it all, she drew a little, smiley figure with a line indicating movement from above to below to represent God. I found it inspiring how imaginative and accepting little children can be, even with difficult biblical themes.
Just as I was beginning to share how beautiful I thought her picture was, she said she was bored and left the table to go play with her toys. That was the end of that.
I love the metaphor Isaiah develops as he prophesies that in the midst of dry, cloudy, cold and leafless landscapes, God can make life spring up anywhere. I love that little children can imagine God in action and trust what God is doing better than we adults can sometimes.
And I love how children just tell us adults like it is. Their actions tell us how they really feel. You can tell pretty quickly when children are engaged, hungry, or bored.
I invite you to nurture a loving environment for children and one another, that together, we may experience and trust God’s loving action for all, just as each of us is. Sharing God’s love can feel like an unexpected crocus blooming in someone’s dreary wilderness.
A way you may do this is to sign-up for serving and/or providing cookies for the Risen Lord Montessori School Christmas Program on Thursday, December 15th at 6:00 p.m.
You may also attend the program and share a friendly, caring smile and word of encouragement to the parents who gather to watch their children.
May you be the crocus blossoming for those you encounter, all the while, rejoicing and praising God, who brings new joy to the most desolate of places.
*This Sunday, please welcome Deacon Marilyn Smith, who will lead worship while I am attending my son’s college graduation out-of-state.