Some clergy friends of mine were chatting on the Internet sharing some “stunned” moments in ministry with children. One, a bishop, said “my stunned moment was at St XXXX when a toddler at the altar rail looked up at me and asked “where does God sleep?” . . . his grandma whispered to me “we told him this was God’s house so that’s why he wants to know”.
Another bearded bishop was mistaken for Santa Clause when, on Christmas morning a child whispered in his ear “Thank you for the presents”!
But the one that really got me thinking was this little gem, shared today by my friend Les, from Newcastle Diocese.
“When I walked into St XYZ’s this Thursday morning for Playtime, one of the 2 year olds said to me “Hello God.” I was so stunned that I didn’t even respond. Kid now thinks that “God” is a mystery who has no will or capacity to communicate.”
“Hello God!” Isn’t that priceless? I doubt that anyone would ever look at me and mistake me for God but it got me thinking about the image of God we present to our children… and the wider community. I was reminded of a different greeting sometimes used, in Christian gatherings, instead of the “Peace”.
Each person greets their neighbor by taking their hand, looking them in the eyes and saying, “I love the face of Christ I see in you.” It isn’t appropriate for all occasions and many people find the experience a little too confronting, BUT, we are ambassadors for Christ, and we are to be “as Christ” to those we meet.
Whatever you think of the practice, are you able to recognize the face of Christ in the person sitting to your right or left? Possibly of more importance, is whether or not they are able to recognize the face of Christ in you!
Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of my little ones, you do to me!” So, it seems to me that the more we are able to see Christ in others… and treat them as such… the more Christ like we ourselves will become!
During this Holy week, may all of our lives be a reflection of Christ.