Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
~ Matthew 19:14
This next week begins the kick-off of our new children’s ministry program, and I am so excited! Each month we will have a Saturday youth group time, playing games, learning about God, and doing crafts, and then on Sunday we will have a children-focused worship service. We call it our “Small Seeds Weekend”, because our hope is that as we foster the youngest among us, as we help them to grow in our congregation, we will be planting small seeds that grow with our young ones.
Something that I think Jesus is always trying to remind us of are the voices of those who are often not heard. Voices of those who are oppressed or marginalized (I’m thinking of the meek, the poor in spirit, those who mourn, etc.), but many of these voices are also our children. It’s our children that embody joy and awe at God’s creation.
There are very few things less fun than spending time with a young child (especially if you’re babysitting and you get to go home and nap afterwards!) I was always grateful to play babysitter to my friends kids, especially on sunny spring days. We would go on walks around the neighborhood, and while I listed off the to-do list in my head, it was my small friend who pointed out the beauty in the flowers on the sidewalk, who asked questions about the birds flying around us, who saw God’s creation all around us and wondered at it, and who helped me to do the same.
So as we begin this next chapter in children’s ministry at Bethany, my hope is that we can come together with this same awe, with this same joy, and with this same wonder as we explore our faith together, regardless of our age.
I know I can’t wait to start seeing these seeds sprout around us.