After a week up north visiting family, I flew back home to Texas on Tuesday. Up in Minnesota everyone is getting ready for Rally Sunday and children were getting their backpacks blessed for the first day of school. Down here in Texas we have already sent everyone back to school, including the children from our pre-school.
I missed chapel last week. I did not want to miss seeing the children for two weeks in a row. But my flight was delayed because of severe weather, and by the time I got back home, it was late. I did not know what I would do for chapel the next day. I couldn't remember what their Bible lesson was.
"Well, maybe we'll just sing and pray," I decided. That is what we did.
I have a very old book about prayer that I like a lot. I brought it with me, just a few of the pages marked. I wrote down a few of the songs we like to sing (If you're happy and you know it... hug a friend!). I will admit, that when Wednesday morning rolled around, I wished for just a moment that I had decided to sleep in.
But then we were all sitting on the chancel steps, and I was asking them, "When do you pray? Where is a good place to pray?"
They prayed before bedtime, and they prayed in the morning with their friends. They prayed when they ate, but they also prayed in the car and when they had a sleepover at their friends' house. They could pray at their grandma's, and they could pray when they were afraid, too.
Right before chapel, I suddenly remembered what their Bible lesson for the week was. I remembered that I had a mirror in the pulpit (long story), and grabbed it. One little boy said, "What is that for?" I said, "for later."
We continued to talk about prayer, and pray. I showed a few pages of my old prayer book, with things they could pray for, or about: water and fun and friends. My favorite page was about sounds. We gave thanks for sounds! "What are your favorite sounds?" I said. "boing boing!" "ding dong" "Honk honk". "Meow!" and then..... "our voices."
Yes, I said. "Our voices. We are a sweet sweet sound in God's ear."
We said the Lord's prayer and sang again. And then I took out the mirror, because I remembered that their Bible lesson this week was from Genesis, chapter one. "Made in the image of God." I took out the mirror and said that each of them was made in God's image. And then I stood at the back of the chapel as they went back to their classes, and gave them a peek at the image of God, in their faces.
It was fun to show the mirror, one by one, and watch them look at themselves, and say the words, "You are made in the image of God".
It was almost as good as saying those other words, one by one, to each individually, "the body of Christ, given for you. The blood of Christ, shed for you."
Made in the image of God.
A sweet sweet sound in God's ear.
I live to tell it.