Becoming a child again at the bandstand

Snowballing over - we gathered in the bandstand

Steve led us today  in a snowy landscape – it was beautiful! His theme was based on the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:2-4, including the words

“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

After an opening Psalm (that we walked to – to keep warm!) we wandered off into the snow to read some musings on the passage which were as follows:

21st century stream of consciousness:

 So I get the bit about humility in verse 4. Not being puffed up. Taking the lowly position. Fair enough. But the rest…become like a little child? Is this really necessary? What on earth does this mean? Become a little child – really? Just not think at all; stop all analysing, stop over-thinking; learn not to doubt or be cynical. Just become naïve once again, trusting when we have given up on trust. Questioning is the very basis of our intellectual enquiry; probing for truth, seeing through the fakery. Tripping down the yellow brick road only to discover the terrifying wizard is a sad old man with a bit of technology. It’s all a delusion – a God delusion maybe and all discovered by Toto the dog.

“You will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven” – that is pretty tough stuff. Have our mindsets so imbibed post-modern cynicism and doubt that we urgently need to re-mythologise, re-sacramentalise our world. Perhaps we have indeed taken on the role of gods with our arrogant accepting and rejecting of truth according to our very limited perceptions. And God calls us to back to innocence, back to the Garden of Eden, back to wonder.

 1998 – a little girl goes into Rouen Cathedral and looking up says, “Wow!” Where and how can we discover “Wow” worship once again?

Answers on a postcard in the café?

Returning to the bandstand our prayers were enhanced by a child passing by on his bike, singing with glee at the snow! Steve suggested that prayer is like the child reaching out to its parent. We aren’t meant to understand it; just to do it like the little child pointing his parent’s attention to the broken glass in the window. We walked and prayed silently. We prayed our version of the Lord’s prayer and remembered the things we had prayed for on Wednesday…

Finally we shared bread and wine to words written by Steve:

 Like little children we gather, heads craning to see what might be on the laden banquet table. We can see only a little but it excites and tantalises our taste buds. Like little children we understand only so much of how our heavenly parent nourishes us with this bread. Bread for our bodies and bread for our spirits. Amen.

 Like little children we understand only a little of the sacrifice of our heavenly parent in this wine. Wine for our bodies and wine for our spirits. Amen.

Like little children brought up in that idyllic garden, we run with wild abandon scarcely looking round to acknowledge the God who walks in the cool of the day. May we take him on our adventures, include him in our dreams and share with him our delight and wonder in his creation. Amen.

And may that be the  focus for this coming week for us all : )