A while ago I was looking for a gift to give at church for children’s baptisms or to new parents, when I stumbled upon these jumbo prayer beads, perfect for little hands. Wanting to connect the beads to a practice of prayer, I devised a little method of traveling the beads while praying The Lord’s Prayer, connecting each bead to a portion of the prayer, in the hopes that this tactile practice would help the children both memorize and internalize the prayer that Christ taught us all to pray.
During the summer between my second and third years of law school, I worked as an intern in the General Counsel’s Division of Children, Family, and Aging. Every morning, I made my way to the Hubert Humphrey building in the shadow of the nation’s capitol, not realizing until then how many federal government employees filled Washington, D.C. every day.
Not long ago, as I waited to use the restroom at Friendly Toast in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, I became intensely aware of the sign on the door
In terms of my life circumstances, I couldn’t possibly have less in common with the ammas who fled to the desert for spiritual growth and exploration. I have a marriage, a parish, and two kids. And a dog. And chickens (maybe they had chickens in the desert?).
This song tells us a very important story, like most songs do. It comes from the heart of God’s people, from across thousands of years, and still means something holy and hopeful every single time we sing it. With titles and word pictures taken from the prophet Isaiah’s conversations about the Messiah, we see all the ways Jesus has come to reconcile the world to himself. Each verse reminds us of a different promise God has bought into being, has made come true, in the person of Jesus.
Advent is officially one week away. How are you feeling about it? Will this be the year you are finally able to slow down and enjoy this season of preparation? Grow Christians tries every November to ready our community to do just that.
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