A handful of my parishioners and I joined together in the social hall for the purpose of making a pilgrimage. We were there to walk the Via Dolorosa together…the Way of Sorrows, or the Stations of the Cross.
On the night in which Jesus gave us the mandate to love one another, we came together to remember just how much Jesus loved us and what he was willing to do for us.
There were a lot of little moments that touched my soul as my parishioners made their way from station to station and as I offered communion to the spiritual pilgrims… but one moment in particular will stay with me for a very long time.
Our music director’s nephew had been up the road at his school participating in soccer practice. He was to walk down to the church as soon as practice was finished.
Bryce burst into the room as only an outgoing third grader can–with an energy and vivacity that politicians and preachers dream of possessing. But it was his eagerness to see what was going on that captivated me. He practically ran to the first station to see what was there. His aunt followed him and gently told him what the items on display meant. She is a teacher, so she has an easy way of communicating ideas to children… and I listened as Donna explained and Bryce asked questions or explained what he already knew.
The stations were interactive, designed to put all five senses to use as we made our way around the room. Sometimes adults can be a little hesitant about handling and object or carrying out an activity, but a third grader doesn’t have those hang ups. Bryce tried the olives and spit them out. He eagerly picked out a rock to carry and placed it in his aunt’s pocket. He ate the chocolate with abandon. He rattle the chains, drove the nails into wood with the hammer, drank the vinegar…
I sat there pondering what Jesus had told us about coming to the Kingdom like one of these little children and I wondered if Jesus had watched the little ones exploring the world around them at the Temple. He must have. Because once you’ve seen a child eagerly consume the things of faith, you know what God is looking for in a relationship: willingness, openess, eagerness.
The next couple of days in the life of the church are hard ones. They are emotional. And I hope I can come to it with the same desire to learn and experience as Bryce brought to our piligrimage in the social hall tonight.