Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘love’

A little over a month ago I asked the Priest-in-Charge at my church if I could talk to the congregation about the importance of children in our church and the need for people to work with them.  His response was that he wanted me to give a sermon…I figured he’d finally lost his mind.  Some weeks later I got an email from our associate priest about a Sermon class she was offering.  I signed up.  What follows is the sermon I wound up writing.  My goal was a sermon about the importance of children but what was impressed upon my heart as I wrote was the importance of God’s love for ALL humankind and how we adults need to see that love with the purity, innocence, and awe of childhood.


Christ children4

Mark 10:13-16

13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 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. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.

Have you ever told a small child that God or Jesus loves them?  Have you watched their face as they take in these words?  Their reaction, is truly enchanting.  One might think that this would be true of telling them that anyone loves them but it’s not the same when they are told that their families love them or that their teachers, or friends love them.  There’s almost this sense of ‘well no duh’ from most of them at these revelations.  But when you tell them that GOD LOVES them the joy and amazement is almost palpable.

At the school where I teach we have chapel every Wednesday morning where we talk about our school’s virtues and about God and Jesus.   My co-teacher and I continue these themes throughout our days learning.  We read stories about God’s love, talk about our school virtues which are the fruits of the spirit, and sing songs like Jesus loves me.  At the end of our circle time we go around the room telling each child individually that Jesus LOVES them.  As well as their mommies and daddies, brothers and sisters, teachers and friends, that God loves EVERYONE.  The first few times we do this the look of amazement on their faces is touching.  That amazement turns to an effervescent Joy as the year progresses…but it is always there.   No matter how many times we tell them that Jesus or God LOVES them there is an expression and feeling of awe, wonder, amazement, and utter joy in their faces and countenance.

In the book of Mark, Mark writes of Jesus saying “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”  I was thinking about this sense of Awe that the children seem to have when told that God and Jesus loves them as I read this scripture the other day.

The church seems to use this scripture a lot for advocating the presence of children in church.  Having them in the service, having education ministries for them, having faith based activities for them so that they can ‘come’ and so on.  Children are important!  Let me say that again CHILDREN ARE IMPORTANT!  Having ministries for them and ways for them to be present and part of the church is important.  Ways for them to learn about, and come to know and love God and Christ are vitally important to them and us as adults but I wonder if that was truly what Jesus was saying.

Again, I think of the innocence and the awe at which my students take the information that they are loved by God.  That they are LOVED by Jesus.  They don’t try and quantify it, they don’t try and negotiate it … they don’t say God will love me if I such and such happens … or if I do blah  … they just accept it with the innocence that comes with Childhood.  With the raw faith and acceptance that comes with being a child.  In the scripture Jesus says “Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it”.

I remember in my youth having a conversation with someone who was convinced that this meant that you could only enter the kingdom if you came to God as a child, that you could only be a true Christian, you could only go to Heaven if you came to believe when you were a child. Taking the words exactly as written, word for word but not as I think they were intended.   I remember thinking that that made no sense whatsoever and certainly did not jive with the loving God that I had always been taught about.

Part of the joy of being adults is having greater an understanding of things but sometimes, that deeper understanding, that desire to know more, and question things makes it harder to just accept.  We need to take in the knowledge and love of God as a child would.  Not try and argue it, not try and quantify or qualify it, just accept it.  Feel it as a child would.  Know it and see the awe in it.  Accept that we are beloved by God no matter who we are, no matter where we are in our life or our walk with Him, and no matter our faults and flaws.

Jesus loves you.  Take that in… God loves you …don’t think about it feel the childlike joy of knowing that you are truly and utterly loved.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I have read many facebook posts lately on how you shouldn’t get attached, shouldn’t love, shouldn’t deeply care about the children you work with if you are a care provider and I think this is bunk. I have been working with kids in different ways for over 20 years and I have loved almost every child who’s crossed my path in that time. I only say almost because there are a few that I only cared for once or twice and in that short a time you don’t form that bond.

Whether you are a teacher, a babysitter or a nanny I don’t think you can do your job right if you don’t open your heart to the child you are caring for. Especially when working with little ones, preschool and younger, they are going to love you and I believe you should love them back. True it will hurt when you have to say goodbye but it’ll also strengthen you. When I was teaching I was bummed every time my kiddos moved to the next class. I am sure I annoyed the next teacher telling them about the children they were getting, and after they left my room going and checking up on them to see how they were doing. I never had a child who wasn’t excited to see me in the hall, on the playground, or if I stepped into their classroom, even years, after they left my room. I am still in touch with many of these families years later.

I think this is even more important when Nanning. You are with that child 40, 50 or more hours a week. During the week you spend more waking hours with these children than their parents do. These children will love you unconditionally and deserve to be loved back by you. When I had to leave the first family I ever nannied for I was heartbroken, and so was the family. They made a decision that was awesome for their family but I had become a part of that family, their kids loved me and they knew I loved them. I love that I get to go ‘play’ at least once a month and occasionally get random pictures sent to me.

What I am getting at is it shows in how you do your job if you see it as just a job. It shows if you don’t care about and love the kids you are caring for. The parents know it, the kids know it, everyone knows it. I would do anything for ‘my kiddos’ and their parents know it and therefore I am a star in their book. I may be wrong but I don’t think that you can do all that you need if you don’t open your heart to the kids you work with and their families. So many families are looking for a nanny that will become a part of the family and you can’t do this if you see it as just a job. I think at the heart of the matter all parents really want is to know that their child is being well cared for and loved while they are away.

Read Full Post »