21 March – Clare Welham – Saint Mary’s, Liss

Dream On!

I’m lucky enough to be able to spend time with some of the wonderful pupils in our local schools and call it work. Whenever I do, I’m reminded not to underestimate the wisdom of children nor their ability to understand the bigger issues of life.

As we approach the last week of Lent and the excitement of the end of term, many of them will be hearing and responding to the story of Easter. It’s a story so remarkable that it could take a life time to get your head around it but seeing it afresh through their eyes always a privilege.

Just take the very first day of that week, what we in church now call Palm Sunday: the people gathered to welcome Jesus – they hoped that he was the Messiah that they had been waiting for, the one they believed would free them from the rule of a foreign power. The one who would transform their lives from subjugation and injustice to glory and victory. Of course, it didn’t play out as they might have hoped.

Jesus was a very different Messiah to the one they expected and before the resurrection happy ending, came the suffering of the cross.

Sometimes our hopes and dreams can see equally hopeless. Unrealistic, impossible to achieve and as adults we can all too easily stop dreaming and become stuck in cynicism. Children, though, know that it’s always worth dreaming and hoping, not to mention pestering and petitioning!

What might life be like if we learnt from them? If we too risked dreaming of a different and better future? If we petitioned and pleaded with God in prayer, even though we have no idea how our prayers could be answered? If we worked for a different future even though we know we are only scratching the surface? I think we would find that things might start to change although it might not play out exactly as we imagine.

So, this Easter I’m going to try being childlike, not only in my consumption of chocolate eggs, but also in the hopes and dreams I hold on to and trust that with God in the end all will be well.