in October, i helped with a church launch in Fletcher Place, the neighborhood just a few blocks from our house. we meet in the same space as the gallery.
it was agreed that i would eventually be on a rotation of teachers, and in December i was asked if i could do the month of January. my direction was simply the teachings of Christ, but i began to feel that we really needed to study the lifestyle of Christ, to know what was important to him, that we may begin to orient ourselves in the same way.
this morning, our topic was “prayer.” i divided the room into groups, allowing them to dive into the assigned scriptures and answer, through dialogue and discussion answers to simple questions about the content of Christ’s prayer, what seemed to purpose, and where he tended to pray. i roamed from group to group, casually observing their responses, making sure all felt comfortable enough to participate.
in one group, a mom had chosen to include her 10 and 7-yr olds in the activity. an older gentlemen articulately and with a subtle authority read through the passage and began to facilitate the discussion; he had done this many times before and could do it well. he asked why Jesus chose to retreat to the wilderness to pray, and the young 7-yr-old piped in.
“because Molly just told us,” she said, referring to the children’s lesson they had just received, “that sometimes you have to be alone to hear God.”
the table sat there stunned, but no one more so than the older gentleman. his face revealed how completely impressed, and yet still humbled, he was by her clear and direct response.
the scene sticks with me as such a beautiful glimpse into the operation of the Kingdom, how the “last shall be first” and “let the little children come to me” and “if you do not approach the Kingdom like a little child, you can not be my disciple” (all roughly paraphrased). in the Kingdom, we not only learn about life from the seasoned veterans, but also from the purity of children, who’s ears and eyes seem to be tucked right up against that of the Father. in the Kingdom, we will teach one another, with humility and love. we will be equals.