Poison Dart Frogs are some of the tiniest and beautiful creatures on the planet; they are also incrediably deadly. So, why call this blog "Tiny Dart Frog"? It goes back to the old adage - good things come in small packages. We are all created exactly as God has intended - unique, strong, and beautiful.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Ask you shall receive....
I have this sort-of funny thing going on with my youngest son involving communion. Most parents I know have children that either take communion or don't - really no in-between. And, in most churches there is a given 'practice' involving communion. Some churches begin communion whenever the child desires (or the parent), some churches it's the 2nd grade, some churches it's 5th grade, and some others still it's 8th grade. The "acceptable" time to commune is up for discussion.
Cooper, who is now 6, really fits none of the categories, accept the first - whenever the child desires. He's the in-betweener kid. Last year on Maundy Thursday we were involved in a Seder Meal. Cooper listened attentively the whole time (at least as well as a then 5 year old boy can). After this ritual, we all went up to the sanctuary and stood in a circle. As the bread and wine were being distributed, he cupped his hands and looked up into the pastor's eyes, as if to say, "Me too. I am a part too. I love Jesus too. This includes me too."
I think about that a lot. I know that Cooper understood, as fully as any of us do, what the celebration of Holy Communion is about. And I think as we grow and wilt, ask and deny, open ourselves and close ourselves, we all come to new and fresh understandings of communion and God's love for us.
I haven't gotten to the funny part yet....this year we returned to our home congregation after being gone a year. Cooper decided he didn't want to take communion anymore - he said he wasn't supposed to. And - I thought it didn't really set a good precedent me up at the altar forcing him to take communion (that surely can't be grace...). So, he stopped taking it, also excusing himself by saying he didn't like the grape juice. I let it go. Besides, there is precedent for those not feeling worthy to come for a blessing as they confess their sins, instead of receiving bread and wine (although I don't necessarily agree with this - who among us is worthy?).
Today though, just a few weeks before Maundy Thursday, he cupped his hands and looked up into the pastor's eyes... different pastor, same feeling. The pastor looked at me, looked at him; Cooper looked at me, looked at him. I said, "Okay. Yeah, give it to him." He asked. What can we say to that?
Ask and you shall receive - it's the promise of Jesus. Ask for grace, ask for love, ask for forgiveness, ask for just a foretaste of all that God has promised to each of God's beloved children. Because when we ask - we receive, one way or another.
My name is Christine Stephan, although I answer mostly to Mom or Pastor.
I am a Lutheran pastor for an amazing group of Jesus' disciples just outside Washington DC AND a mom to 3 of the best boys in the universe.
I blog here about family and faith and frustrations....That thing we call 'life'.
My boys are passionate about all things legos, anything involving a ball, video games, and chocolate.
I am an avid runner, a lover of interesting books and deep conversation, a very amateur writer, and also a lover of chocolate.
I also love theology (which is weird, I know), but I don't love theology more than Jesus.
This blog is hardly ever profound, but it is real. As a pastor and I mom, I find 'real' to be more helpful in my journey with Jesus than crossing all the t's and dotting all the i's.