Spirit Play Reflection- The Ordinary Birth of a Baby

Ordinary Baby Jesus
Ordinary and Miraculous Baby Jesus

This last story of the year talks about the very old story of the birth of Jesus.  It is introduced as an every day kind of story; the birth of a baby, both mundane and miraculous.  The story asks us to look into the ordinary until we can find the truth and the magic within it.  As I reflect on this fall semester, I wonder at my own journey taking this teaching role seriously as practice.  The task itself is quite ordinary.  I prepare by reading the story several times and reflecting on it myself. I show up early on Sunday morning to prepare the room.  I sit on the rug as an invitation to those who come and immerse myself in the edge of experience when preparation meets living.  It has been a learning curve for me to let that preparation play in the space of our classroom where it meets wiggly energy and curiosity and excitement that makes everyone want to talk all at one time.  It is a joy for me to walk that edge where I choose to meet our children with my own openness and see what they offer back.  Engaging with the parents and other teachers along these edges has proven to be just as opening and transforming.  As the children chose to work with this story this week, I saw them blessing babies from the Celebration of New Lives story, I saw them curl up and rest in the book nook (it looked like a little manger to me).  I saw them engage with each other and with the teachers and I swear I saw magic in the middle of our ordinary play.  I trace the ordinary magic of my own transformation facilitated by my engagement with these children.  My own opening to this practice has worked on me in surprising ways that has brought me to new places in my own heart and life.  I see the comfort and community that has been created by and for these children as they come each week to class.  I see our community being in relationship and creating connection with each other in and out of our classroom.  The parish hall is suddenly full of more friendly faces wanting to meet me and be recognized and known.  This is the beauty of church, a small miracle.  It is within these connections that the holy can be found and through which it moves to bless our world.  An ordinary thing, to deeply choose connection and relationship, a miraculous thing when that relationship invites us beyond ourselves and our small vision into greater integrity, service and joy.

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