I recently had the opportunity to facilitate a women’s retreat at a local Lutheran camp. While gathering together with a multiage group of women, we spent time listening to, discussing, and exploring the words of the hymn “It Is Well.”
Teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
(Deuteronomy 11:19, emphasis added)
Let’s face it, life is a bit messier than we would like to admit. Our children spread paint all over a new couch. Our bodies age and our clothes don’t fit like they used to. Illness attacks (sometimes in the form of middle-of-the-night stomach flu). Feelings are hurt. Hearts are broken. The list could go on and on. We work tirelessly to fix this messiness, to clean it up, to patch it, and cover it. Sometimes I lose sleep thinking about solutions to problems that have not even presented themselves yet. I am a slave to the mess of this world. Amid this brokenness, I have never received a more obvious lesson in Christ's redemptive work than an especially challenging evening with my seven-year-old.
Last week I had the opportunity to sit in the back during our worship services. Typically, I sit in the front row, and am mostly unaware of anything other than my own children and working to keep them engaged in the service, but this Sunday was different.