I want our children to…

Sunday, January 29th,  Dr. Miller’s message centered around our being “Under Construction” .  It is a state of being that is true for all ages, young and old alike.  At the end of his  “Time with the Children” Dr. Miller had the the girls and boys  select a bright yellow Construction Hat that each joyfully placed on their heads.   Following a time of prayer, the children returned to sit with their families.  I heard one young child say, as they bounded back into place next to their parent,  “that was really fun!”  “Yes”, I said, “a moment of God’s grace and love known and experienced in the life of a child!”

As I begin a new year working in the area of Children’s Ministries, I feel called to share the following CREED with you.  It speaks at least in part, of my passion for children: those who we know by name  here at Nardin; those we are yet to meet in the coming weeks, and months  ahead;   and yes, ultimately to all children everywhere. (adapted from a writing by Pamela O’Brien in Alive Now publication).

I want our children to be
strong and brave,
to do what they believe to be right
even when it costs them a lot.
I want our children to be weak,
to know what it means to be lonely
and scared and vulnerable,
to be able to cry
and to say, “Please help me.”
I want our children to love,
to love a lot, life and other people,
especially those who
aren’t very lovable;
to love buttercups
and red maple leaves
and gentle snows
and shells that cover ocean beaches
after a storm;
to love hot cider and clean floors
and great books and classical music.
I want our children to despise,
to despise a lot, pretense and lies
and killing, cruel words,
violent acts and mean tempers,
diseases that ravage the body
and the mind.
I don’t want them to despise pain
and death and endings,
things that in their essence
are a part of living.
I want our children to love God
and no matter what,
no matter how dark it gets at night,
no matter what awful something
the light of day exposes,
I want them to never ever
let go of God.
I want our children
to go to bed each night,
to rise up each morning, hoping
beyond that trusting,
beyond that believing,
that God loves them,
that God will never let them go.

I am aware we cannot take our children’s journey for them.  As they reach the end of their teenage years, they must choose that for themselves.  But, we can offer them something to choose from beginning with the day of their birth.  In their adult life, the choice is theirs.  Somewhere along the way, they may  “let go of the God of their childhood”.  And in the letting go, to yet, discover God anew for the new stage of life they are now called to live.  Hmm, is that somewhat like being “Under Construction” for the rest of our lives?

I’m excited about the new Lenten Study for this year.  Three Simple Questions by Rueben P. Job.  For I think that as we continue to explore the questions:  Who is God?  Who am I?  Who are we as Christians together? our children will come to sense the presence of God’s grace and love alive and moving among us each and everyday.  And I would suggest that as we are among the children,  may we too be open to new and evolving  insights into the Realm of God, that they may be offering us.

“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

God’s Peace,
Karen