Space for the Children

The first venue for the Festival of Homiletics was the Washington DC Cathedral –and after completing our registration, we tagged along on a tour that had already begun. After the spacious beauty of the main worship space we went past another side chapel to what they called the “Children’s Chapel”. In this delightful space, past a statue of a welcoming child, through the wrought iron gates that had many hidden creatures formed within, were small chairs with cushions stitched with animals, stain glass windows showing Bible stories involving children, even a child sized organ... all speaking an enthusiastic welcome to children. Just as Jesus welcomed children, so did the architecture and furniture of this space.  As I sat and enjoyed it, and imagined children gathering within it, I was also aware of the many spaces that are not so inviting for children.  Aware of the way we can create spaces for children because actually we don’t want them in other sacred areas. Jesus welcomed the children into a place where the disciples thought they didn’t belong. Our challenge is to make welcoming space for children, in our architecture –but also in our hearts and behaviour.