In His Name, We Will Hope

By Willa Frey of Fairbanks, Alaska, USA

Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.  Matthew 12:18–21

I had the joyous experience of being invited to share in the sacrament of blessing my three new grandsons. The first one was Sebastian. Next were twin boys, Elliot and Sawyer. The sacrament of blessing of children is a wonderful experience!

As I prepared, I was impressed with the responsibilities I, the parents, and the congregation assumed. Christ commanded all of us to take these responsibilities seriously. That doesn’t mean telling the parents what they should or shouldn’t do. It means surrounding them with nurturing love, help, and consideration.

It is our responsibility to demonstrate Christ in our daily living—the most effective way for new parents to learn. This involves being good listeners, sensitive to their fears and mistakes. It’s not as though we never have made any mistakes! They will learn from them just as we have. We will allow them room to grow.

God will always be with parents and those who set forth on this nurturing path, supporting one another. Embrace new parents with love.

They shoulder the hope of the world—God’s children.

Prayer for Peace:

Tender Shepherd, nurture the parents who nurture the children. Protect these tender reeds that they may not be bruised. Let us look to them for our hope, as we look to Christ. May we share Christ’s peace with the world’s children.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Joy of Gratitude

Stand, if possible, with arms outstretched. Imagine God filling your arms with all that you have: family, friends, and possessions. Hold out your arms until they feel tired. Now, bring your arms across your body. Place your hand over your heart and thank God for the abundance that fills your life. Sit for a time aware of that abundance. Then ask God to help you open your heart in gratitude and share freely with others in deepest gratitude.

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will support new parents without interfering.

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