Being the parent of a school age kid can be tough. I sometimes sympathize with my homeschooling brothers and sisters and their choice to shelter their kids at home. As I send off my soft-hearted kind little men into the belly of the beast known as public school I worry how much they will be broken…okay maybe that is over dramatizing it a bit. But there is some anxiety regarding whether or not my boys will come out unscathed and continue to be these innocent loving children that my wife and I have poured our lives into. What I do love about their educational experience though so far is the pick-up time at their elementary school. At the end of the day, the parents who are picking up their kids to drive them home or walk them home all file into the main lobby of the school. Then the students who ride the buses parade through this alleyway of parents who are smiling at them and anxiously awaiting their own progeny. Then after a little more waiting the finale takes place as your student(s) files out from the back hallways into the school to your smile and your waiting arms. It really is theis amazing little drama that plays out every day…and much like other things I see in life, it got me thinking.
Our faith is a faith based on heritage. We did not come to our belief in Christ on our own. Rather there was a mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle or close friend through which we were introduced to Christ. And in a lot of cases, the people who have led us to the throne or through whom our heritage in the faith has come have already moved from our presence into the presence of Christ. And I almost see it like that parade of parents at my boy’s school. Those who have gone on before are there with the Father. Encouraging the others as they come into the kingdom. Setting the example for us to follow. Cheering us on from the other side of glory. As Hebrews 12:1-2 puts it so well, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” This communion of the saints that we affirm in our creeds is our parade of parents. And they can’t wait to see us there. And I am sure that there may be some worry or anxiety that the world might rob us of our innocence and our identity…but they hold true to the fact that we are here for a reason. We are Christ to the World and by our witness the parade will witness more and more come into the presence of Christ.