But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” Mark 10:14
Our super-creative pastor and youth director embarked on a project last year that had them scrambling every Sunday morning. A simple, empty cardboard shoe box was given to a different child to take home each Sunday for several weeks. The instructions were simple: each child was to place something in the box that was meaningful to him or her and bring the box back to church the following Sunday. One non-negotiable rule: the “something” could not be alive or formerly alive! Each Sunday during the children’s sermon, the pastor and the youth director took turns opening the box and preaching a short sermon on what was inside. When a boy brought in his favorite action character, the message was about how Jesus is always “in action” in our lives, watching over us and directing us on safe and sensible paths (Psalm 119:105). A girl’s collection of leaves and twigs brought a lesson in how God wants us to care for all the living things on our beautiful planet (Genesis 1:26,28). Twin brothers each placed very different items in the box the same week: a photo of their grandpa who had just passed away, and some crayons. These items brought to mind that their grandpa was now in heaven which is even more beautiful and colorful than our home here on earth (John 14:1-4).
Adults often don’t give children credit for the things they understand. We hold kids to a specific curriculum for religious education, from Sunday school through confirmation and beyond. We might do better to simply present a passage of Scripture and then listen as they tell us what it means to them. We might be pleasantly surprised what we would hear. Over the years, the vast majority of our confirmands have expressed a firm grasp on what it means to be a Christian. I am always encouraged to realize that we will have a new generation of believers to carry God’s sacred Word to the world when we are gone.
Lord, watch over our youth and help them in their faith struggles. They are the bright and shining future of our church. Amen
Meg Blaine Corrigan tells stories of wisdom, strength, fear, joy and risk-taking. Daughter of a raging alcoholic mother, and survivor of sexual assault at gunpoint, Corrigan has shaken a dismal past and flung herself into the arms of Christ, Who sustains her in her daily walk of grace. She shares with her listeners her incredible story of surviving and thriving through many trials during her seven decades walking this fragile earth. She has been described as a Renaissance Woman, integrating her formal training in psychology and counseling, an enlightening experience as a percussionist for a Polynesian show troupe, and most recently as an inspirational author and blogger. Her exposure to many life experiences has enriched her passion for spreading Christ’s word and helping other trauma survivors. She has a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and thirty-plus years of experience in the field of counseling and social work. She lives in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, with the love of her life, Patrick, and their formerly disenfranchised rescue dog Ginger. www.MegCorrigan.com MegCorrigan@comcast.net