St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Bolivar, Missouri
Monday, January 24, 2022

A pretty wonderful Sunday

Before Church started I got a text and photo from Amanda Whatley. Cora and Ezra were both sick this morning, but he wanted us all to know he lost his first tooth! I did ask to make sure the tooth fairy was sufficiently generous, because I have a inside track to such characters, but apparently she was.

Then as we were just about to begin worship, Lindsey Walker reached out to me to hold, and didn’t want to go back to her mom. So I carried her with me and we began the hymn and readings together.
Thanks to Marcus Cox for the photo

This is a joke, but it can be a serious problem for preachers who don’t like what the Bible actually has to say. I am happy that neither Paula nor Ryan fall into that trap. And I pray none of us ever does.

We had a superb homily by Ryan WiIliams, following on the equally good one by Paula Shepard last Sunday. Hers is on the Facebook page and on our YouTube channel. His isn’t up yet. But it will be. He promised to record himself as Paula did and send it. (Becca Cox, who would have videotaped it today was home with Bobby, after returning, finally, from the hospital last evening. He is doing well, but they were both wiped out after a week in the burn unit).

So partway through the Eucharistic Prayer, Lindsey again crawled up to the altar area and up the step. And there she sat until time for Communion. Her first birthday was only a couple of weeks ago, but she clearly has a mind of her own! And this is when I figured out why she likes me so much: I am, in her mind, the source of that good bread! She was first to communion, followed by her brother RB, and when we were finished giving the bread and wine to everyone else – she was ready for seconds. (Thanks to Michael Elliott for the photo)

And as Church was ending, back in my arms, she pointed to the credence table where she clearly knew there was more bread, and got thirds! Her little hand is full and she’s smiling happily.

And here is my theology about children, in case it isn’t already abundantly clear. They are not future members of the church but members right now. And they have something to teach us. When Ezra has good news, we all rejoice with him. We can do that because he isn’t shy about telling us – He knows he belongs to us all. When Lindsey is desperate to get up to the front, when she fairly dances in the aisle hanging on to the pew when we sing, she is doing exactly what the scripture tells us children do: They lead us.
It will be a great day in the morning when we so-sophisticated adults can feel as at-home with God as children do – when we can “dance with God” without shyness or embarrassment, and when we know as well as Lindsey does, where Good Bread is.

Do you know that Anna Williams and Minda Cox were friends when they were both students in the Intercultural Studies program at SBU? Here they were in 2010 – and again this morning!



No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *