Saturday April 16, 2011
No, this is the covenant that I will make with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my instructions within them and engrave them on their hearts. I will be their God and they will be my people. They will no longer need to teach each other to know the Lord, because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord; for I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sins. – Jeremiah 31:33-34
Sundays are her busiest day, getting there early to make sure all the church school rooms are ready. Then there is the last minute preparation for the Children’s Time in worship. The time is coming for parents and kids of all ages to arrive. She is there and ready. Some run, some walk, some are carried in the arms of their parents and she knows them by name. Some children stop to greet her and she takes them by the hand and walks with them to their room.
She sees a new child with his mother, observes him a bit and walks over to meet them. “What is his story” she asks. The mother tells her that her son has some special needs because of his different learning abilities. He will need a buddy to help him in his church school class since his motor skills are lagging a bit behind his cognitive skills. She replies, “That’s not a problem, we can do that.”
The mother smiles and remembers another church where her son was considered a disruption. The mother wanted was a church home where she and her family could learn and worship and serve – a place where God’s love would welcome all of them as a family. All and everything she wanted was a place where God’s inclusive love would surround her son. She knew that in this surrounding, others would learn about God: how God’s love is in the face and the hands of all people and most especially with those who learn, look and act differently than we do.
It was her busiest day at church. The time was coming for church school to begin. She welcomed the new parent to their new church home and the three of them walked to his class.
The time is coming……. I will make a new covenant…… they will all know me.
Thank you God for writing your love on our hearts so we remember to see you in the faces of others. Amen.
Lib Caldwell is Associate Dean for Advising and Formation and the Harold Blake Walker Professor of Pastoral Theology