“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” … And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. –Mark 10:15
Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. –Matthew 18:5
The season of Advent, beginning on December 2 this year, is all about being attentive to the coming Christ. We remember with gratitude his coming as a child into the world two thousand years ago, and we look forward with trepidation and joy to his coming at the end of time. Holding past and future together is the present, in which we are attentive to Christ coming to us – often in surprising ways.
I was surprised when one of our members suggested a group that would make quilts for children in trauma through Project Linus. She said it could be a way for our church to come together and reach out to fill a need in our world. To me it didn’t seem like a very big plan or attention-grabbing project. It wasn’t sending big bucks to mission or development work, feeding the hungry of the world, or even offering our building for temporary shelter. Knitting, crocheting, and quilting together just didn’t seem like a very sexy ministry idea, if you’ll forgive the expression in a church publication.
But it is precisely in the modest, the humble, and the least attention-grabbing things that Jesus promises to meet us. How could I have forgotten?
Apparently the members of this congregation had not forgotten, because the embrace of Project Linus has been enthusiastic. All of the sudden, it seems, we have “blanketeers” everywhere, using their skills to create warm blankets for children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need of a hug. Even more, they are enjoying each other’s company and deepening relationships as they work together.
What a beautiful discovery of Jesus’ spirit in our midst!
Project Linusgroups are meeting at Hope on some Saturdays and every Tuesday morning. This seems a wonderful way to practice Advent together. We create blankets of blessing, love, and hope—in honour of the child who came into the world at Bethlehem and was wrapped in swaddling cloths; in service to children around us in need; and in hope for a future where there is no more sickness, suffering, or pain. It will be a joy to offer these blankets to God in worship on December 9, blessing them as they are sent out to children in need.
Blessings and peace to you this season,
Pastor's Page for the December 2018 Hope Anchor
Image copyright Project Linus Canada