The Rev. Twila Smith
Grace & Mediator, Allentown 

“I myself feel confident about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another.”
– Romans 15:14

In another season, another place and time, when the only challenge of the day seemed to be the wandering children in sheep’s clothing, I came upon a remarkable scene. Gathered around the baptismal font, peering over the edge, were three lambs and a dog. I cannot speak to the validity of a dog at the Nativity of Jesus, but someone had given a costume to the church and, here in this present scene, the dog played an important role.

While the three lambs gazed into the water, wide-eyed, their slightly older, canine companion taught them about baptism. With the authority of a front-row witness at this very place, she told those lambs that this was Big; in the church, this was so special she carefully whispered the most important words. This floppy-eared theologian, having been part of this community and studied scenes here throughout her life, was a compelling teacher. Then they all took it in together, with a moment of silent wonder.

There is much in this world that we cannot fix this week. There are incomprehensible scenes all around us and challenges that often seem too big to address. I am confident, brothers and sisters, that we can come together and teach one another how to live in this world, with the knowledge and love we have been given.

I am confident that we can find our way to the font, to peer in together and once again be filled with awe and the goodness of God.