You see, just about every day with the kids I receive some sort of plastic meal - spaghetti, bread, pizza, milk - you name it, and it's been offered. And, on top of that, there's always seconds, or thirds, to go around.
Play is the most important part of the day for any young, budding chef...I mean, kid. It's not just chefs - it's construction workers, archeologists, doctors, homemakers, and librarians, but for me, there's something very special going on at the Little Tikes kitchen each day.
During one of our formation classes we joked about people associating Benedictine hospitality with tea and cookies because you knew when you showed up at the door of the convent, they would be offered. I joke that the teachers at SBC practice perennial hospitality as we engage in a steady cycle of feeding kids and subsequently changing diapers or taking them to the bathroom most of the day.
But, by allowing kids to play "kitchen," our children practice hospitality, too. As I was "eating" my fifth plate of purple Play-Doh spaghetti and meatballs yesterday, and the sixth helping was entering the aluminum oven, I heard the question again, "More?"
Of course. More, please!
Today, as I recalled the memory of yesterday's feast, waves of Eucharist passed through me. By feeding the crowds with only a few handfuls of Play-Doh, our children are learning to be Christ to the other. How could I say no to another helping?
At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
Let us walk in the holy presence.