Our Sunday Meeting theme right now is All Ears On Deck. We are trying to develop our “ears to hear” and listen to the Holy Spirit. We want to catch the best things from God in our personal experience of life, the traditions of the church, creation, and our mutual ongoing discernment.
I “heard” something last week in my cell that helped to deepen me and my parenting. We ended our time together by singing a prayer: Stay with us, Lord Jesus Christ, night will soon fall. Stay with us, Lord Jesus Christ, light in our darkness. As I drove home, I let that prayer settle into my heart and mind, conscious of how Jesus was with us even during that cell meeting—in the vulnerability of relating, the honesty about our searching, and the humility and love it takes to really listen to one another and to God.
The next night I taught that song prayer to my daughter at bedtime. We talked about what darkness could mean in the context of her life and it opened up a moment not unlike what our cell had experienced the night before. It was a moment to listen, to share sorrow and then to hope in Jesus. We talked about the light of Jesus shining right into her darkness. This spontaneous moment surprised me and was a gift, inspired from the life and faith of my cell.
I realized again that what we say about raising our children in the environment of our church community is true: The “content” we want our children to learn is primarily personal, not propositional. We want them to get to know God and relate to God in each person who loves them. As parents and caregivers, our best preparation for teaching children is to spend time deepening our relationship with God ourselves and so becoming people with “content.” Our children get to absorb that content by being in an environment where deep people of faith organize their lives and their mission around Jesus, in community with one another.
I am so thankful for cells and Sunday Meetings where we can tune our ears to listen to God and each other! As we do this together, our faith deepens and that has an impact on our children and all those around us.
Let’s post what and who we’re listening to! — quotes, photos, video, and/or lyrics using #circleofhope and #allears.
Julie Hoke is our lead Cell Leader Coordinator and an apprentice pastor preparing for our next church plant.