Sunday’s Scripture ~ Romans 8:18-25.
One of my favorite moments of liturgy in our weekly 11 o’clock worship services is when I sit with the children of our church and sing Jesus Loves Me. They sing sweetly with smiles full of promise and hope. They sing confidently – even if they are still learning the words. I hear some pretty inventive and entertaining refrains from time to time! This is a beautiful ritual we share with the children of our church each week; it communicates that we value our children. Jesus loves them and so do we.
Recently I preached at Westminster Winter Park, which is the home of one of TUMC’s long time members named Grace. I always look forward to visiting with her and listening to stories of TUMC in the early days. She always asks how she can pray for the church. And she assures me that even though she is not able to attend as often anymore that our church is never far from her heart.
The day I preached the Westminster Tower Ringers – a chime choir – offered their spring concert in the worship service. I played bells and chimes during high school and college – Andrew and I met in that bell choir! – so those instruments and that music will always hold a very special place in my heart. Their final piece in worship that day was Jesus Loves Me.
The chime choir began chiming. Sitting in the midst of the congregation I listened as the music washed over us. As the sound of the chiming rose in the air, so did the quiet singing of the congregation. A congregation full of the Greatest Generation singing a song I am sure many of them learned as children – the same ages as those in the TUMC Family…
Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus love me. The Bible tells me so.
Romans 8:19 reads, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.” We are God’s children for we have received God’s Spirit. And it is incumbent upon us to raise up the generations of God’s children – all of God’s children. We do so by speaking and singing God’s truth. That Jesus loves them – loves us. That Scripture is trustworthy and true. That by God’s gift of grace we are a part of God’s eternal promise.
Give thanks for God’s children in your life. And trust that whatever your age or ability that God can and does use you as part of God’s plan. The way you serve God may be changing…it may be different than it once was. However your service to God changes, ensure that you continue serving God! In doing so you offer encouragement and an example for all generations.
You reveal the presence of God’s children in creation. You reveal the presence of God’s children to one another.
You reveal the presence of God’s children to me.
Prayer: “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene, and wonder how he could love me, a sinner, condemned, unclean. How marvelous! How wonderful! And my song shall ever be: How marvelous! How wonderful is my Savior’s love for me!”* Amen.
*”I Stand Amazed in the Presence,” The United Methodist Hymnal 371.