Not-So-Silly Geese: A Sabbath Meditation

This week, our friend Erik offered what our church calls the “children’s moment” during the worship service.

In pretty much every church I’ve attended, children’s moments are hit or miss. Some good. Some awful. Mostly awkward. And, as far as I can tell, much of the time they aren’t beneficial to the children, per se, other than to get them out of their seats to burn a bit of energy in the midst of all the adult moments going on.

Erik’s sermonette this week was about geese and whether or not they’re silly (as in, “you silly goose”).

Doesn’t sound very profound does it? Well, I’ve got news for you.

It was.

This is what he pointed out:

1) Geese fly in a V, which helps the geese in the back conserve energy while the geese in the front, especially the head goose, expend more energy. They carry the burden of the gaggle. (Yes, I used the word gaggle in a sentence!) As a result of using the V formation, they constantly shift places in order to relieve those who are working harder and give them a rest.

2) Geese honk to communicate with one another, and not just communicate but encourage one another. If we could translate what they are saying, we’d hear, “Great job, head goose! Keep up the good work! I can take over whenever you need me to! Whoohoo!”

3) When a goose gets sick and needs to make a pitstop, a handful of other geese stop with it to keep it company while it heals and rests. No goose left behind, you could say.

Alright, so considering his audience, Erik didn’t cite any scientific evidence, and I haven’t bothered to verify any of it either (because, really, does it matter?) But in the end, Erik concluded that no, geese aren’t very silly at all. In fact, they sounded pretty smart to him.

And to me, too.

You could say they’re just a community, working hard at being a community.

And that, my friends, is a lesson we could all stand to remember.

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One comment on “Not-So-Silly Geese: A Sabbath Meditation

  1. Darla says:

    I, too, found Erik’s message very appropriate to all ages and especially one the children could understand. We forget that young children are concrete thinkers and we often talk to them in abstract terms that go right over their heads. Those children who had seen geese flying in the V-formation were probably able to clearly understand what he was saying. Young children need to see and touch and manipulate what they are to understand. O’Neal tells a story of a former minister at Faith who was doing the children’s moment. He was holding a brick and talking to the children about how the people who make up the church are like the bricks that make up the church building. One little boy was listening very intently, and then held up his hand. When the minister acknowledged him the little boy said, “Boy, if you drop that brick on your toe it is really going to hurt”. Ahh, the joys of children’s perspectives on life!!! You and Jonathan have much to look forward to as you experience your child(ren). Onward and upward as we learn from children and geese!

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