And How Are The Children?

“Among the most accomplished and fabled tribes of Africa, no tribe was considered to have warriors more fearsome or more intelligent than the mighty Masai.  It is perhaps surprising then to learn the traditional greeting that passed between Masai warriors. ‘Kasserian ingera’ one would always say to another. It means ‘And how are the children?’ ‘All the children are well’ is the response.  Meaning that peace and safety prevail, that the priorities of protecting the young, the powerless, are in place, that society has not forgotten its reasons for being. ‘All the children are well’ means that life is good.” – Pat Hoertdoerfer

Children are the focus of so much of our attention at this time of year.  They are featured in our media, our holiday advertisements, our Globe Santa stories.  But can we say they are society’s reason for being?  How would you answer that today?  And are you happy with the answer?  I must confess, in today’s society, I do not see the well-being of the least powerful and most vulnerable among us as a priority.  What would it be like if we, and our leaders in government and finance, chose to put the most vulnerable first?

 I invite you to try this as a spiritual practice:  Starting today, imagine if, whatever decisions you make and actions you take in your daily life, you asked yourself ‘how will this affect the children?’  Think not only of your own children, but the children of your community, your society, your heart.   Think not only of little children, but of whomever is the least powerful and most at risk from the decisions we make.  Today and for all of our tomorrows.

May you have a season of blessed joy and peace.

Rev Sarah Person

Lent: Tilling the Ground

 

Contributed by Board Member, The Rev. Dr. Richard Bardusch

Lent is an old Anglo-Saxon word that means spring. While Lent overlaps spring in time, there is a deeper connection between the church season of Lent and the planting season of spring. Lent is about tilling the ground of our spiritual lives so that we can experience the new life of the Resurrection of Jesus. Lent is the time when we prepare our hearts to be sown with God’s love and Jesus’ new life.

Like the ground after winter, our hearts become hard over time and each year we need to break up that hardness so that like the ground they are prepared to receive the seeds of new life. Just as the plants thrive in tilled soil so to the seeds of God’s love thrive in a spirit that is broken and tilled.

As Americans we don’t like to have our world dug up. We like our patterns to be the same and predictable, but as Christians we are called to disciplines in Lent of preparation. Some of us give up bad habits, while others of us take on good ones.  Whether we give up or take on is not the question. They are both acts of preparation designed to till our hearts for the planting of God’s word and mighty deeds in the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

How is God calling you to till your spirits? What do you need to give up or take on to prepare to receive God’s seeds of love? To till our hearts is the call of Lent.