In the Beginning
(Peter is on the Left and Elijah is on the Right)
“If we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children; and if they will grow up in their natural innocence, we won’t have to struggle; we won’t have to pass fruitless idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which consciously or unconsciously the whole world is hungering”. Those are more words of Gandhi. Yes I know I am on a little bit of a Gandhi run these last few days. I like this quote because it really does say a lot about how we all start. We begin with a whole boat load of innocence.
At the hospital yesterday I met both Elijah and Peter. It would be fair to say it is impossible to be in the presence of such beauty, joy and wonder and not feel a great sense of hope and joy. It is impossible to look into the sweet movements of a young infant’s little fingers and toes and not be in a sense of awe and wonder for God who is always creating. Looking into those little eyes that respond with anticipation and excitement to light and movement, it seems that hate, fear, terror, cynicism, and judgment are so unimaginable. We have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to have these little bundles of joy come into our lives. Elijah means “My God is the Lord.” Peter means “the rock.” Both of these biblical characters were tireless servants for God. Peter was impulsive and was the cornerstone on which Christ built the church. Both Andrew and Pamela and Christian and Christie are parents of great faith and I have no doubt that these boys will grow in faith and be nurtured in the ways of humility and servanthood.
These two boys were born just six days apart. Between their births, the Anglican Church marked the Transfiguration – a feast which celebrates the revelation of Jesus in all his glory to Peter, James and John. Jesus is said to be seen with Moses and Elijah, two major prophets from the Hebrew Scriptures. Impulsive Peter is excited to see this high point for Jesus and he immediately decides that it would be good to stay as long as possible and offers to build three tents; one for Moses, one for Jesus and one for Elijah. Jesus reminds Peter that they must go back down the mountain to get back to ministering. These two boys are a great reminder of how we can all be transfigured. When I look at these two little pieces of innocence, I see what our transfigured selves are like. I think that in a sense, when we are at our best that is exactly what we are like. Jesus takes time to remind us a couple of times in scripture that if we want to understand the reign of God we must become like children. We must be transfigured and changed. I could not paint a better picture of what that should be like; we need to be made new, refreshed, and reborn. We need to abandon the notion that we are “in charge” and accept our dependence on God to be nourished and cared for and supported. I looked at both sets of Mom and Dad at the hospital and was so taken by just how tender and caring, how supportive and loving, how nourishing and truly life-giving they were to their sons. I think that it is that way with God as well. When we submit to the idea that we cannot do it all alone, we are indeed loved, supported, nurtured and made clean by a loving and benevolent God.
Let us all be transfigured this holy season of Lent. We all look to be more aware of the child within.