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By Lois Parker Edstrom
Object needed: Locket or a picture of a locket, optional. (Pictures often found in catalogs or newspaper circular ads.) If neither object is readily available, the same concept can be presented by asking if there is a grandparent in the congregation who has a picture of a grandchild in their wallet and is willing to share it.
Imagine traveling at a time when there were no airplanes, no cars, no trains. That is how it was many years ago. People walked or traveled by horseback. They also rode in wagons and carts pulled by oxen, horses or mules.
Traveling was so difficult that when people decided to go on a long journey, they didn’t know if they would ever see their friends and family again. Saying goodbye was often a sad time and also a bit scary. To help them remember and feel close to the people they were leaving, women sometimes wore lockets.
Lockets are usually heart-shaped and hinged so they can be opened. Women put pictures of their loved ones inside the locket and if a picture was not available, they would put some of that person’s hair inside. They wore these lockets on a chain around their neck or pinned to their dress. It was a way of keeping their loved one close to their heart when they were separated by a great distance.
Any time we embark on a new adventure or make a change in our lives, we can feel a bit frightened because we don’t know what might happen. Do you remember how you felt your first day of school? It can feel exciting and scary at the same time. Some kids like to carry a picture of their mom or dad in their pocket on the first day of school so they won’t feel so alone. Sometimes, when we are separated from someone we love, we need something to make us feel more comfortable.
The disciples of Jesus experienced a similar thing. While Jesus was on earth and lived among his disciples, the disciples saw his goodness and holiness. They loved him. They understood that Jesus must return to heaven and it was difficult for them to say goodbye.
Jesus knew they were sad and perhaps a bit frightened. He told them that after he returned to heaven the“Spirit of truth” would come to guide them. And, the Spirit did come. The Holy Spirit is what we feel inside that tells us the truth about God. The Holy Spirit is like a messenger that teaches us, guides us and comforts us. It is how God stays close to us. We don’t need to wear a locket near our heart to feel close to God because God lives in our hearts.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2004, 2011, Richard Niell Donovan