There is language we use in worship not because it is true yet but because it is all that we yearn for. When what is is enough to shake us to the core, we call on what we hope against hope might be. And it can seem jarring to talk about sanctuary, or to sing about none being afraid, when the reality we share is one where the even the safest spaces are violated, where atrocity and sensation and horror vie for our attention and our energy.
But it is in response to this that we sing, and pray, and gather at this table. We do it as an act of solidarity and as an act of resistance. We do it to say back to the violence that it will not have the last word. We do it not because we imagine how the world might be “when God is a child” but because we know that God is a child. Two thousand and some years ago and Friday and today and years from now, God is a child. God is every child. And so we worship and that means we love children. And so we pray and that means we listen to the most vulnerable among us. And so we gather at this table and that means we share in the promise and the pain of the world, believing that God shares it, too, and holds us as we hold our confusion and our sorrow and our hope.