The unison “Amen”
joins a chorus of cherubim
and we of flesh
think it’s all over now
as one final word
and we shuffle for the door.
But who said that our “Amens” signaled the end?
Might the whisper of the last Amen be the Genesis?
Tonight, we say Amen on our Vacation Bible School.
For five days, we’ve hoisted the sails. We wore eye-patches and bandannas and sailor vests with shiny gold buttons. We called ourselves “Jesus-lovin’ pirates,” because those kind are the good kind. We sailed the High Seas of God’s Love.
They don’t want it to end. And I don’t either.
“Mommy can’t we have VBS for 10 days? Or even for, like, five months?” Lydia begged last night from the back seat as I steered these country roads home. Sun descended, and the mown alfalfa in our front yard blushed in orange. In the glow of every day’s Amen, comes the promise of tomorrow’s dawn. Earth spins on its axis, but it never stops cold. Every Amen ascends over next day’s horizon, turning the same fields a new shade of day.
I turn up the driveway, past the alfalfa aglow.
“Lydia,” I asked, still in my High Seas sailor’s cap. “Do you know what Amen means?”
Anna answered first. “It means the prayer is all done!”
Lydia interrupted: “It means, ‘It is finished,’ like Jesus said on the cross.”
“Well, you’re partly right,” I told them both. “But it’s more.”
What if — I asked them — Amen really was the start?
What if Amen was the genesis of Hope? What if Amen meant that when we rose from the pew on a Sunday morning — or even a Friday night Bible school program — we saw it as a prelude to the Promise?
Because it really is.
Amen is the Yes! of all yeses.
In Hebrew, it means “truly,” or “so be it.”
Think of it as a holy “True, that!” followed up with a fist-bump.
From the pulpit, my pastor has said it’s just another way to say “Cool.”
With our amens, we are doing more than offering a concluding word for prayers and hymns and days. In nighttime prayers, we are doing more than putting a period on the past. We are putting exclamation points on all of our tomorrows.
And when we utter our amens, might we remember that we’re really whispering Christ’s Name? For Christ Jesus is God’s Amen.
“And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
— 2 Corinthians 1:20
Let us pray:
Jesus, We’ve been Getting Down with You. We’ve been rockin’ the House of God with our praises. It’s the season of Bible schools all over America — and all around the world. Send your Spirit, and let us not leave You in the pew when we say our last Amen. For You tell us in the red letters that You are the Amen!
In Your name,
ALL IMAGES from our local Vacation Bible School this week.