By Christine V. Hides
“Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” Yesterday’s Palm Sunday Parade and Art Chapel were an exciting way to begin Holy Week, when we observe the events of Jesus’ last week of life. We created beautiful flags to hang on Easter Sunday. During the Art Chapel we heard about Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem and the waving of palms, his teaching the Greatest Commandment, the Last Supper, his death, and his resurrection. With each story we added a color or symbol to our flags.
Jesus’ birth, life, teachings, death, and resurrection are the foundation of our deepest hopes. Hope for healing, for restoration, for love and connection, for liberation, a life with God, and so much more. Our Children’s Ministry derives our sixth guiding principle from the statement found on our website: “In the person of Jesus Christ we know what God is like and who we are to be like.”
In Children’s Ministry we don’t believe that the meaning of Jesus’ teaching and healing, life and death can be boiled down to a simple black or white rule. Like the multiple images that shine through our stained-glass windows, the meaning and hope we find through faith in Jesus is multi-faceted—alive with depth and color. We encourage wonder and curiosity as we imagine how Jesus transforms our lives and the world.
In far too many places Jesus’ message has been co-opted by a message of niceness. Nice may help us get along with others, but it doesn’t proclaim the transformative power of God’s love and grace. At our Growing Young Retreat on Saturday we discussed the importance of taking Jesus seriously as we reclaim “Jesus as the centerpiece of the story of God.”
Next time you are in the sanctuary look at the stained-glass window above the altar that depicts Jesus the Good Shepherd. Wonder together as a family about the times you have been lost and found. Look at the image of the sower at the back of the sanctuary and ponder what seeds of hope God is planting in your life. Wonder together about the love of Christ which has the power to change our lives and the power to change the world. Thanks be to God.