What do you remember about your youth? I remember times of awkwardness, times of embracing challenges that adults might have thought impossible because I didn't know fear, falling in love, and last but not least always going to church. Going to church is what we did--no question about it. Our family has done it for generations--no question about it. I was thinking about our youth director this morning. I know he's preparing for a confirmation retreat this weekend. Today I pray especially for parents of young children and youth and their spiritual leaders. May parents be encouraged to include their children in worship so it is only natural for the children to continue worshiping and become members of their faith communities as they grow into teens. Worship is work but it can be joyful work for an entire family if it becomes ritual and routine. Now I'll put my soapbox aside and let you enjoy the image below from one of my favorite American artists.
Going to Church, William H. Johnson, 1940-41, Smithsonian American Art Museum
William H. Johnson painted rural scenes inspired in part by his memories of growing up in South Carolina. This family of four rides on an oxcart toward a distant hill, where three crosses mark their physical destination as well as their spiritual home on Calvary.