We were traveling in the car somewhere, my family of five and I, along with Alexey's best friend Peter. I'm driving and most likely pondering the to-do list for the next youth event at church (or NOT!) when from the back seat my son Alexey calls to me, "Hey, Dad!" Being the good dad that I am I respond with, "What?" And with that comes hysterical laughter from two 8 y.o. boys along with screams of "You've got the word!"
"THE WORD" Have you ever played the "You've got the word!" game? The object, at least in the example above, is to get someone in your vicinity to say the word "what" - thus subjecting them to laughter and embarrassment until they can make someone else say the word and thus alleviating this almost unbearable burden of being stuck with "the word".
Did I mention that I hate the word game?
I was thinking about "the word game" as I was teaching last Sunday.
We were looking at the story of Joseph and Mary's encounter with Simeon and Anna at the temple. I was focusing on how all of them had gotten "a word" from God. We talked about the story a bit and then we talked about the words associated with Advent - Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. We spent some time pondering what each word might mean for us this season. Then we had a time of prayer - lighting the Advent candle and then listening for what "word" God wanted each of us to hear during this season of advent - Hope, Peace, Joy, or Love. I had made some cards with each word on it, a scripture verse and then a prayer that turned that verse into a prayer back to God and encouraged the kids to personalize it as much as possible as they prayed back to God, a prayer based on the word they felt they were being led to.
Maybe there is a word I need to be "stuck" with this season.
Maybe, if I listen a little closer, I will hear God saying, "Hey, Dave!" And I will respond.
Of course, God is hoping we all get stuck with "the word".
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-5, 14