Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
--Collect for the Third Sunday of Advent
If you've ever been to Nightwatch, you know that at the heart of what we do is a curated liturgy. In our context, a curated liturgy is a Rite II Eucharist service from the Book of Common Prayer. for the Liturgy of the Word, we substitute readings and a sermon with prayer stations. For Advent, the prayer stations centered on the theme of light in darkness. Where do we find the light of Christ this season, and in what areas of our life do we need this light to shine?
It was while the group was engaging with the prayer stations when the meaningful moment happened. But it wasn't at a prayer station. Instead, it came through a conversation I had with a sixth grader. It began with this student's question, and it became one of the best conversations I've ever had in youth ministry.
The conversation began with a simple, yet at the same time very complex, question about the resurrection. Then, the conversation turned to creation. Then it turned to a discussion of whether or not Noah's Ark existed. It was fascinating to hear a sixth grader ask all of these questions about God, theology, and the Bible. What was even more fascinating to me was that every question he asked related back to a topic that we covered in one of my theology classes this semester. I was blown away by this student's curiosity, and how each question sounded similar to the questions I myself have been asking this fall.
This student and I talked for at least twenty minutes. I don't know if I answered any of his questions correctly, or if I even answered them at all. However, I do know that God was in that moment, and that we both learned something from the experience.
I processed the experience later that night with his youth leader. "So you had a holy moment," she told me. I thought about it for a moment. Yes, that conversation was a holy moment. It was a holy moment that came at an unexpected time, in an unexpected way. I didn't come through a prayer, or a song, or even in the celebration of the Eucharist. Instead, it came through the questions of a sixth grade boy. Once again, I was blown away. I was blown away by the presence of the spirit in this amazing moment.
We have just entered the third week of Advent. With each day, we journey closer and closer to Bethlehem. We are another day closer to the coming of God with us! As we continue on this Advent journey, what are some of the "holy moments" that you are experiencing? Where are you experiencing the presence of God in your life and ministry? How is God being revealed to you through your young people and your community?
As we continue the journey toward Bethlehem, may God's presence stir up in your life and help you seek "holy moments."