Each month we collect 2-cents a meal on the last Sunday during worship. Our children going around collecting the change and with excitement bring it to the front. I assume the older children understand what the big picture is to this, especially since I see some bring coins from home; but I have never given much thought to how the little children experience this.
Yup, confession of a Pastor / mother. I haven’t really done a lot to talk to L about this practice, even when I remember to bring in our change. Recently we were having dinner with friends who are also clergy and who have children. At their dinner table is a house shaped piggy bank in which they collect coins for the poor. I immediately thought I clearly wasn’t doing something right and should start this practice with our children before they get too old. But as we were preparing to sit down and participate in their “dinner ritual” L quickly picked up on what was going on and wanted money to put in the house for the poor, adding that we should bring it to church on Sunday. Later when we were home, she found a coin and asked if she could bring it to church for the poor.
Our children are incredible and they can teach us the power of God’s love every day. Mostly out of the blue. Things might seem like they don’t understand or cannot figure out faith until they are older but children understand more then we know. They are truly gracious and generous souls.
Sometimes the 2cents can feel like a “last minute” thing that we just “remembered” and some Sundays it is. Some Sundays we may wonder why we still do it…but the truth is that it means more than just the food that goes to feed the needed; it means helping our children understand giving; it means reminding each of us that even something that feels like a chore can have meaning and a reminder that God works even in the ordinary.
God is working in each of our Sunday services, present and through the Spirit working in and through all of us. God is working to help our children understand, even if we adults fail to, the ways of love and grace. Let us all work at giving to God with such joy our lives so that we may truly be working in generous and gracious souls to bring the Holy to all we meet.