Sunday, April 3, 2011

I dressed for the third graders

This morning I spoke with the 3rd through 6th grade Sunday School classes.  Marsha thought it would be good to have a priest talk about anointing.  I figured a discussion around Chrism, the special Baptismal oil blessed by a bishop with samples and activities would be a good thing.  It was fun.  The scent of Chrism is on my right thumb as I write this.  Because we all anointed at least one other person, we all left Chrismated (yes, this is a real word, even though spell-check says it isn*t), not just on our foreheads , but will smell it all afternoon whenever our hands wander near our noses.  I like the thought.   And because the olfactory system, the sense of smell, is our oldest, most hard-wired sense... there is a good chance this lesson will stick with us in ways some other lessons don*t.  We will all remember when the scent returns.

I dressed for the third graders.
Because my family said
They wouldn*t believe I was a priest
Without my collar,
I wore one.
There were no third graders
The older ones seemed not to care.
The Sunday school lesson was anointing.
I gave them anointing
And then some.
We read John 12,
Talked about Jesus* feet
And Mary*s hair,
How weird it was that the authorities
Killed Lazarus
All over again.
We passed around the Chrism
To smell,
To feel,
Talked about how each of them
Was anointed
At Baptism
In healing.
The teachers wanted to know
Even more.
We all anointed each other,
Smelled our fingers
The scent will probably remain
Through the afternoon.
The aroma of balsam
Mixed with olive oil
Will linger with them
They will remember
When it returns.

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