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Speaking to the Soul: Too Crowded?

Speaking to the Soul: Too Crowded?

Feast of the Holy Innocents

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

                   

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 2, 26 (morning) // 19, 126 (evening)

Isaiah 49:13-23

Matthew 18:1-14

When we visit our relatives for the holidays, my family of four sleeps all in one guest room. We wake up several times a night because of whining, kicking, thirst, and fear (there’s no night light). But, the snuggles are nice. Not only our room but the whole house is crowded. But that’s a good thing.

In today’s first reading, crowded places are a dream come true. The prophet gives people hope for the children born during their nation’s time of emptiness and exile by promising them future crowding. One day, “The children born in the time of your bereavement will yet say in your hearing: ‘This place is too crowded for me; make room for me to settle.’” Then, the lonely person will rejoice at all the children streaming to overcrowd the land. Soon, people “shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.”

Even today, people are bringing their children to the nation where I live. Some brought them as children decades ago, and they are asking to be fully part of the place they have known as home. In today’s Scriptural vision, crowded places are good places, and the children and families who make them crowded may come from a long way off. How many of these innocents will we welcome home?

Lora Walsh serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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