During WorshipArts on Sunday, The K-5th graders furthered the Epiphany conversation that Ruth started during Children’s Time. As is a traditional custom for some congregations, we “chalked” the door of our WorshipArts room to symbolize the blessing of our space and our time together in this New Year. If you look closely, you will see the customary symbols representing the year, the cross, and the initials of the three kings (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar)*. You will also see the origami star we created to represent light and the gifts that the children hope for in a light-filled world.
Just this week I read about Meribeth Benner’s project** to encourage authors of juvenile and young adult literature to produce stories that present a hopeful vision of the future, in contrast to many currently popular fiction publications which portray dystopian societies filled with oppression and degradation. In studying scripture, including the book of Revelation, Benner concludes “There’s a sense of beauty and vibrancy on the earth. I’m longing for that picture to be a part of what popular culture is engaging with as well.” On her website, http://www.writethegoodfuture.org, she details a creative writing contest and gives optional prompts for both younger and older writers. While the contest timeline does not work for our group, the tools she provides make me curious to learn more about the future world our children dream of.
During the fall, along with the congregation, WorshipArts participants spent time considering voices from the margins, hearing about voices of conscience, and eventually looking for voices of hope through the Christmas story. With the dawning of this new year, I am eager to listen for these children’s voices – voices that not only dream of, but truly represent, this world’s future.
*The initials are also said to represent the Latin words, Christus Mansionem Benedict translated as “May Christ bless the house” or as I like to think of it, May Christ bless humanity!