This is how I often define a symbol to children.
A symbol is a picture reminder.
When referring to our Children’s Church table, I would point and say, “This cross is a picture reminder of Jesus.”
Of course there are other symbols, other reminders. And all reminders are not merely visual.
“When the cross is carried down the center aisle,” I will explain to children, “then we see it – it is our picture reminder of Jesus. But Jesus did not stay on that cross, did he?” I will wait for them to boldly answer, “NO!” and sometimes there will be extra explanations from many. I will continue, “No, he came to life again, proving that He is King over crosses and death and all the world.”
I will ask, “What would we do if the King of all the world walked into this room?”
Our children, because this has become routine, would both answer “bow” and also do it as they said it. Bowing. Perhaps even kneeling.
Bowing can be a picture reminder for us. When I see those around me do it, then I am reminded that I am in a place where we are remembering that Jesus, who died on a cross, is the King of all the World.
But when I bow, then it is more than a picture. It is an action. It is worship in movement.
I love liturgical worship because it is all engaging. I see and hear. I smell. I move and feel. I taste.
And yes, somewhere in the Eucharistic service, the reminding and remembering becomes the very presence of God. Sometimes in water. Sometimes in bread. Sometimes in wine.
Holy Week provides many opportunities to remember. In some of our services, there is touching and doing and smelling and tasting. There is the great chasm of emotion …
from triumph and joy to fatigue and despair,
from shouts of hosannas to cries of fear and blame and name calling,
from trembling to silence,
from dark to light,
from shock to delight,
Ash Wednesday and Lent and Palm Sunday and Holy Week are the seasons where I abandon all my disgust (from inadequacies) for crafting and plunge into the world of making. Making picture reminders.
Or, buying one 🙂
And if you’d like to win something from my new favorite etsy shop – jesse tree treasures – see them here –
Then share this blog post (not the etsy pin, but you can do that, too!) with a friend via email or facebook and comment below
In the comment, tell me who you shared the post with and where you would display your Holy Week ornaments if you won. I’ll try to get your set to you by Holy Week this year. I’ll try!
One random winner chosen at 8pm this Monday, March 16th!