Come, Jesus said to two intrigued strangers, “And you will see.” (John 1 v.29 and so began friendship, friendship that endures.
Midweek, a dark, wintry evening and 30 beavers (boys and girls) march across the road from their hut for a first time look inside a church.
A first experience of something strange, altogether new, and strange. Things like fonts altars, organs, bells, chalices, cups.But children are good at making friends, happy to lay hold of the sally and toll the tenor bell, happy to listen to stories of days long past, to sit in the choir and learn a new song; and oh… the look on tiny faces when the altar frontals were raised up so that they might take a peek at the Crib figures, (left in hiding just for them to find tonight’ Christmas being well past) Down, they went on hands and knees to get right in with the straw, little fingers lovingly, tracing the features of baby Jesus.
Then, over in the corner, they come and see the votive candle stand, hear about why some people like to light a candle some have someone at home they want to say a prayer for and I help them to light a candle and say a prayer.
All too soon, the visit is over and our lovely new friends are raising the roof with a beaver BIG shout, saying goodbye, marching out and I am contemplating that their leaders and helpers had also stepped inside a church for the first time and that the things so simply talked about for 6 year olds to understand were just as new to young adults
Tonight, a dark, Sunday evening, a young woman is calling my name, catching up to walk alongside. She knows my name, I don’t know hers. She chats away happily, we come to the big, wide, church gates. “Can I come in, just to see?”
She waits for me to unlock the doors, looks around as I begin to get things ready for the Service in half an hours time. She stays. Sitting in the choir joining in with hymns and prayers, on her way out, says “See you next week.”
Children, adults, is there an age difference when it comes to spiritual things?
Isn’t that how it is for all of us?
We come and we see.
Tell me what you see, when you look at Jesus.