‘Be A Good Ancestor’

We just got a new children’s book for our library called Be A Good Ancestor,by Leona Prince and Gabrielle Prince, and illustrated by Carla Joseph, as part of our rejuvenation of that space and our ministry with children and families.You should read it sometime – children’s books can befor everyone. 

One of the pages goes like this:

Be a good ancestor with your words.
Words become expressions.
Expressions become narratives.
And narratives become the truth.

That has been a source of rich reflection for me this week. 

At our special vestry meeting this past Sunday, we dealt with some hard things. There was some anxiety in the room, some concern – I felt it. It’s OK to be anxious and concerned. However, even more than that, there was patience, understanding, compassion, trust and faith on display. 

Thank you for that. Thank you, St. John’s. 

Throughout this whole process with the roof, with an uncertain future, I have been so impressed by us, by you. It feels that together, we have chosen hope over despair, faith over fear, and love over anxiety. 

That does not happen by accident. It is a culture that you, that we have been creating, shaped by the words we use and the stories we tell and live into. 

Stories about how God made the world and loves it so much; stories of how God does amazing things with small seeds; stories about how the Spirit is here among us, empowering us to love God and our neighbour in this place; stories about a new kind of Kingdom, that we have been invited to build with God in the here and now; stories about how, in the words of Desmond Tutu, “goodness is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hate, light is stronger than darkness, and life is stronger than death.”

Those are the narratives that we have chosen, that become the truth, the truth of us. 

My friends, may we be intentional with the words and expressions and narratives we are choosing, may we continue to yoke ourselves to the story of Jesus, to the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. 

Thanks be to God!