Monday, October 18, 2010

From the Lips of Children

Since St. Andrew's Cathedral is part of the Congregations for Children in Mississippi, we annually observe a "Children's Sabbath" to highlight not only the plight of children in our state but also to shed light on the many outreach ministries we support that make a difference in the community.

As part of the liturgy, children served as lectors and as the Prayers of the People intercessor. Each one did an outstanding job. My 10-year-old daughter read the New Testament epistle lesson:

As for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully (2 Timothy 3:14-4:5).

I've been struck by each of the epistle readings from Paul's letters to Timothy that we've been hearing over the past several Sundays. At times, it's been like hearing a message addressed to me personally. And so it was very special to hear my daughter read these words from 2 Timothy before the gathered assembly in the Cathedral.

The whole passage assigned for yesterday is powerful. But I was particularly moved (almost to tears, actually) to hear the words of the opening sentence of the lesson in my daughter's young but confident voice: "As for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." I was powerfully reminded of my own childhood - how I spent time daily reading the gospels and the epistles and how, by the time I was 13, I had read the entire Bible. And in a way I cannot explain, hearing her read these words (and the rest of this passage) was like receiving confirmation that in spite of struggles and questions, I am, indeed, called to be a priest.

The word of the Lord in this passage of scripture came to me from the lips of my own child.

1 comment:

amonkswimming said...

This post is quite beautiful I, too, especially love when the kids participate as readers during Children's Sabbath. How special it must have been to have your own child affirm your life's vocation through Scripture. This is a true testament to our Bible as a true living document that continues to breathe life into us every time we come with metaphorical ears to hear.