by Stephanie Fritz
The Word in Scripture
Jesus the light of the World
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
If you have been worshiping at Central in the last several months, you might have noticed that most weeks the children come to the front of the sanctuary for a Bible story. It may look different to you than a regular “time for children” has in the past or in other churches. It is. We have brought the very special program of the Bible Story Room for children to the sanctuary for us all to experience. This approach to telling a Bible story is an intentional process that opens our experience of God to one of mystery, awe and wonder. Rather than an educational approach where we try to instruct or interpret, this method encourages us to just sit in the presence of God. Children are asked wondering questions—but there isn’t a presumed answer to these questions. The creators of this method, Sonja Stewart and Jerome Berryman tell us that this is called anamnesis. Anamnesis is a way of bringing both the Christian community’s experiences of God from the past and God’s promised future into our present experience through memory, imagination and meaning. This somewhat simple telling of the story is actually a transformative way to capture a moment of stillness and awe with children. But why only children? I think we all need time to sit quietly with God and wonder. Don’t you?
My favorite story is “The Light.” We told this story at the family Christmas Eve service while we lit the candles. The hush that happened after the general “low roar” of this joyful service was pure Holy.
Here is a video we filmed of this story a few years ago.
God of Light, we pray that we can experience you with awe and wonder each day.
I invite you to listen to the Bible Story each week in worship and to reflect on the “I wonder” questions. I wonder how they might change your perspective on Bible stories you’ve heard over and over again?