Saturday, October 18, 2014

Boldly Breaking Rules

Sunday, October 19, 2014
Interfaith Children's Sabbath

When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31 NRSV

I don’t remember his name but I do remember how he felt in my arms. He was bony. He was much lighter than a child of his age ought to be. He also lived in a crack house where rats roamed freely.

As his mother stood before me, desperate for a child care placement for her baby so she could enter a drug rehabilitation and job training program, the rules flashed through my head. 

The urban, not-for-profit early childhood program I directed was full. We had a waiting list of twenty children in his age group. Looking into the baby’s eyes and the eyes of his young mother, “the place in which we were gathered together was shaken.” 

When I look back on that day, I believe the Holy Spirit filled my heart causing me to speak the word of God with boldness to that desperate mother. “Yes, he can start first thing in the morning.”  

We’ve been praying for five weeks now but prayer is not enough. While prayer is critical, we must speak with boldness for our children: our children who were abducted from their families in Nigeria, our children at the southern border of the US, our children in privileged communities who cry themselves to sleep, and our children who are victims of gun violence. It is time for adult rules that get in the way of our children’s well-being to be broken. 

Sacred Spirit, shake our churches, shake our homes, and shake our hearts that we might speak the word of God with boldness. Move us to break free of anything that harms even one of your precious children. Amen.

Rev. Tim Graves
Condon United Church of Christ

Condon, Oregon

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