Through the Waters is the blog of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Christian vocation ministries. Because the ministry of Christian vocation affirms the need for all baptized Christians – including Presbyterians - to identify and claim their call to discipleship in each decision and life choice, this blog is designed to serve as a resource for youth and young adults, as well as those in ministry with them, to assist the Holy Spirit in God’s movement in this journey through the waters. Take some time to read and think about your own responses to the questions posed here. For additional resources, we suggest that you visit our website.
On the last day of the winter vacation from school, I took my children to see the movie “Rise of the Guardians.” I admit that I was partially trying to avoid more sibling in-fighting and the raised voices that seem to come toward the end of a lack-of-routine schedule. I envisioned a feel-good children’s movie during which I wouldn’t have to think. Besides the remarkable animation which still amazes me as a far cry from the Looney Tunes cartoons of my childhood, I actually thought a lot in that movie. There was, and still is, a great deal to reflect upon.
The film portrays the characters of our childhood - Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and eventually Jack Frost – as the guardians of children. It is their responsibility to offer wonder, imagination, and hope; qualities imperative in the lives of children. Not much of a storyline right there except that their role is in jeopardy due to the invasion of the villain, the Boogie Monster.
One of the many reasons the movie will remain in my subconscious is that the name given to the Boogie Monster, that creature who turns our dreams to nightmares, is Pitch Black. Each child, with his or her belief, hope, and wonder is portrayed as a light while that which can extinguish it, is darkness.
As we approach Epiphany, the celebration of the ‘appearance’ or ‘manifestation’ of God, on January 6, I am reminded of the light brought to all of us through Christ; the wonder, the hope, the mystery, the grace that came in the form of a baby. The celebration of epiphany is traditionally associated with the coming of the magi, or wisemen, as they followed the star to Bethlehem, the same place where shepherds had been led at an earlier time and told by a band of angels to “not be afraid.”
So, like the creators of “Rise of the Guardians,” I will be envisioning a world where we live in the light, knowing that we need no longer fear Pitch Black. As Christians, we can live in the confidence that while the individual characters from the film may be imaginary, the belief in what they stand for and the fact that God is or ultimate guardian, may never leave us.
Live in the hope and confidence of the light!
As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I’ve begun thinking back on some the rituals our family has experienced as we seek to fill the day with true giving of thanks. While the day has always included a parade, some football, and an unusually large meal, the aspect of demonstrating our thankfulness has taken several different forms. One of the favorites was a gathering of friends and family during the time that our youngest daughter was a fan of the TV show, “Blue’s Clues”. On the episode that focused around the holiday, Steve drew around his hand and offered thanks for ...
In our congregation’s worship service last Sunday a bell rang out at the mention of each church member who had died in the past year. While it was difficult for some who remember better days with these loved ones, it gave each of us another chance to say prayers of thanks for the faithful lives they had led.
Such is All Saints Day, November 1.
When many of us think of saints we might conjure up images of holy-looking martyrs who lived long ago and have cathedrals named after them. And while these people are thought of as saints ...
As a child I remembered being able to spot those adults who still claimed pieces of childhood. They were the ones I wanted to spend time with because they hadn’t seemed to have lost the joy. They sat on the floor, jumped at the chance to play a board game, and just seemed to enjoy the simple things. In my view, they hadn’t totally given into the pressures of adulthood, or at least, they could still move seamlessly into the delight of their younger lives. As I headed toward adulthood, I was determined to be one of those ...
I was recently asked to be prepared to share my favorite Scripture passage at a gathering. This seemingly small assignment really got me thinking. How was I to select a “favorite?” Since childhood, the Bible has been an important part of my life and there are various passages that hold different significance to me. A favorite one day may not speak to me as much the next week.
I tend to gravitate to the narratives of Scripture; the stories of God’s movement in the lives of individuals and communities. The minute details have never been as important to me ...