Daycare Debate (reprised)

A piece I wrote 14 years ago this month, published in the Montreal Gazette.  Time has flown, but the cultural issues are much the same.

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A child’s first birthday is a wonderful event in the life of a family – filled with balloons, cake and party hats.  For many parents, however, the joy of first-birthday celebrations is tempered by the realization that mom’s year of federally-subsidized maternity leave is coming to an end.  Going back to work means finding someone else to take care of a child.  And as my wife and I recently discovered, a year of advanced notice doesn’t make it any easier to work through this time of transition.

tdv

They are all angels while sleeping.

As a part-time pastor and full-time graduate student, caring for our little one didn’t seem to be in the cards for me – time was in short supply.  And my wife was returning to full-time work as a nurse.  Her twelve-hour shifts, seven days out of fourteen, meant that we needed someone to care for our daughter two or three days a week.

Thus it was that we turned to daycare, that near-universal institution, to solve our dilemma.  It wasn’t easy to find a daycare that would accept a child for only two or three days each week (five-dollar-a-day daycare seems only to be available to those who part with their children five days a week), but we eventually found a non-subsidized daycare space we thought would be good for our daughter.

The first week of September our daycare ordeal began – and it was an ordeal.  Day one was no problem – our daughter found everything new and interesting at the daycare.  Day two wasn’t so pleasant – this time she knew that mom and dad were leaving her behind and she clearly expressed her displeasure.  Days three through four left us guilt-ridden and in tears – our little one was equally teary-eyed on each morning’s hand-off, and again at pick-up. Continue reading

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Easter Kids’ Litany

A litany we will use this Sunday at Kensington, to be led by one of the kids of the congregation.

This is a great day; a beautiful day.
     What makes it a great and beautiful day?
This is the day of Jesus’ resurrection.
   What’s that you say? Tell us again!
This is the day of Jesus’ resurrection!
     This is amazing news you share.
Can I hear these words? “He is risen! Hallelujah.”
     We will say it: He is risen! Hallelujah!
Death is not the end of the story. Life is!
     Jesus is life for a broken, dark world.
     It’s an amazing message – something to share.

Jesus is our risen Lord – he is with us every day.
     We can speak with him, sing to him, praise him.
He leads us into a life that is beautiful and good.
     Let us live in his compassion and truth. Let
     us live for his kingdom. He is risen!

Kids’ litanies for lent

A series of litanies that we are using this year at Kensington – led by children of the congregation during Lent. Based on texts from Exodus… Good to have the kids’ voices sharing and leading in worship. Two of them were also done in French (those translations are at the bottom of this post.)

Litany 1 (Burning Bush)

Moses was out in the rocky places taking care
of his sheep, just minding his own business.
     God said: “Now’s a good time to meet Moses!”
Moses went looking for one of his sheep that
had run off somewhere – just out doing his job.
     God said: “This little bush will show my glory.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Moses saw something
different – a light, a fire, a bush in flame.
     God said: “Take off your shoes, take them off
     right now – you are standing on holy ground.”
Moses was amazed – a bush on fire, but not burned up.
God talking to him. He took off his shoes.
     God said: “Moses, I want you to do something for
     me – I want you to help my suffering people.”

God comes close to us and speaks to us, too.
He asks us to help people who are suffering.
     God says: “Live like Jesus, he’s my holy Son.”
In the time of Lent, we discover God is with us
in all our experiences, good and bad. He helps us
live as his family every day.
     God says: “Jesus is with you, all the time.”

Continue reading

david – last words

Well, we come finally to the conclusion of our series on the life of David. Over the past number of weeks we’ve looked at some of the key events in his life and have begun to understand the significance of David in the narrative of the Old Testament. There have been some spectacular failures in his life. Nevertheless, with David we are at a high point in the history of God’s people. Under David there is unprecedented unity for God’s people – there is unprecedented security and prosperity. Even more, as someone after God’s own heart, David embodies the genuine faith of God’s.

So David’s story has prominence in the Old Testament because he represents a golden age in the history of God’s people. But there is another reason that David’s story is told – David also represents the hope of God’s people for the future. The story of David is told time and again, repeated from generation to generation, because God’s people are waiting for a new David, a Son of David in whom a new and decisive high point will arrive for God’s people. Continue reading