“What about the everyday people? How do we experience God?” I wondered along with Pastor Melissa as she preached the Annunciation on the second Sunday of Advent. She shared the poem, “The Other Annunciation” by Amy Frykholm, which begins:
What if there was another girl,
To whom the angel did not come,
One who said, every day, “I am ready.”
I am one of the regular people, the other girl. I haven’t received blueprints for an ark, seen a burning bush, been swallowed by a whale, or had an angel visit to tell me that I was pregnant with a special child (although my children are my joy, don’t get me wrong). Honestly, I get frustrated sometimes. Couldn’t God send me clearer signs or speak to me in louder whispers? It doesn’t have to be big. Maybe something a little more spectacular than the Savior-shaped potato chips I read about on clickbait websites, and something a little less scary than being blinded and knocked to the ground like Saul. Perhaps I hope for too much.
After worship, I found myself filled with joy. I thought about all I had experienced that same morning: I witnessed youth read scripture, help with Advent candle lighting, and run AV. Elementary aged children shared their earnest prayers with the congregation (one of most meaningful indicators that a worship service is truly inter-generational). A preschooler helped to serve Communion. During the message, children and youth created a giant coloring poster together. During coffee hour, several adults continued to work on it, coloring until the last minute. Could it be that these beautiful moments are actually the signs I long for?
In this place, and in this time, this is what God is calling me to do: help congregations include children in meaningful worship, advocate for children and youth in church and vulnerable children on the margins, and equip families to practice faith at home. Often, I do this through sharing the stories of holy moments, of God among us, that I experience while sitting on the floor of the sanctuary with children and youth.
Perhaps I am not hoping for too much from God, but paying too little attention to what God is already doing.