Since Ash Wednesday

Since Ash Wednesday

As our Lenten season comes to a close, I have been reflecting on those people who taught and influenced my spiritual practice. Since Ash Wednesday, my spouse and I have been practicing family prayer with our almost six year old son before his bedtime. We also have introduced to him blessing each other by marking the sign of the cross on his forehead. He has been enthusiastic. But one evening, he rushed out of his room, and said “Wait a minute!.” Wondering what he was doing in the bathroom, there was the sound of water from the faucet. He returned with his big smile with wet fingers and he marked our foreheads with the sign of the cross and excitedly blessed us saying, “You are a child of God, God bless you.” I also taught my son a Filipino tradition of blessing, where the young ones reach for the hand of the elders and put their hands on their own forehead saying “Mano po!” which is a way to ask for blessing, Hence, the elder responds, “May God bless you!” But Taal always forgets the gesture, as he would like to put his hand on our forehead instead. So when he remembered to get some water to bless us – I want to believe that he understands in his young mind and fondly remembers the importance of his baptism as we always remind him. I have both fear and joy in my heart as I consider this. Fear that when he grows up, he may also “leave” the church since that is such a common experience in our cultural context. But our own baptismal covenant encourages me to not just continue reminding him but even more so, to strive to practice my faith witness more consistently and authentically every day of my life, not just for him. This is my joy. Not only that he will grow to be a loving, compassionate person and know what living justly means, but most especially be able to learn to share his faith story by remembering these past days of giving thanks to God in Christ, reminding one another of God’s love, and blessing each other. He said a few nights ago, “I cannot wait for Easter!” With the story of Easter coming closer Sunday by Sunday, I wonder what this experience of passing on the faith means in terms of our mission with our living God in Christ as a community. That part of our life’s work is to share the story of what we have experienced of God – not only in our personal lives, but in the traditions of our cultures and efforts to be faithful, trusting that God’s Holy Spirit is at work bringing life beyond our own fears about sharing our faith. Easter Sunday worship is our public witness as Christians of who we are and why we are here. I have many more years to tell my son of this life-giving love story of God with us and the whole creation. It is also my hope to listen more to your faith stories as I continue my visits to conferences and congregations and share about our work together in mission, evangelism (new starts and renewing congregations), stewardship and mission support. So I wonder, how do you share your faith story in the light of Holy Week and Easter? Is there a message of Easter for you that you long to share? What is your community’s public faith witness as you come together during Holy Week and Easter? What are your joys and fears in telling God’s story to others? Remember, “You are a child of God. God bless you!”

Share

Recommended Posts