On Sunday mornings, we gather to read litanies, hear carefully prepared proclamation, and share our traditional exchanges: “May the peace of Christ be with you.” With the exception of a recent Sunday when one of my sons yelled, “AND ALSO WITH YOU” (clearly underestimating the power of his voice to reach me at the pulpit), there is little yelling on a Sunday. The noise is either tempered by the adult next to the child or it is carefully crafted into beautiful hymn-singing at the wave of Kathy’s hand.
On Wednesday nights, it is a whole other story. With no formal structures of pews, litanies, or Kathy’s direction, noise streams forth unabashedly throughout the Fellowship Hall as children run this way and that, often without rhyme or reason (at least from what the parent can tell).
To my great amazement every year, our children’s choir leaders are able to direct the day’s leftover uncontrolled zest into the holiest of evenings—the Advent Children’s Choir Program. Parents will be praying for miracles—that our children will stand still, will stand bravely, and will sing at just the right volume (loud enough to live into the words they have memorized, quiet enough so that others can, too).
But the greatest miracle will not have anything to do with the caliber of the child’s performance or with the parent’s nervous smile. The greatest miracle is for those who dare to look again: the peace that is already ours when we witness another generation singing the songs of faith and proclaiming a mystery that we still struggle to comprehend. The divine comes close. Redemption drawn near. Peace on earth.
Weary souls, look again: God is already here. Find your way to a pew on Sunday night at 6:00 and hear the good news from the mouths of babes. Courage begins for those who see peace already beginning to bloom.