I’m sure if you’re on Facebook or even know another Christian, you will have heard, seen or been sent a video of the song ‘The Blessing’ sung by several people all over the UK. It’s a powerful blessing that is so needed at this time and provides huge amounts of comfort, reassurance and hope.
“In the morning, in the evening
In your coming, and your going
In your weeping, and rejoicing
He is for you; He is for you”
I feel like these are the words we need to cling on to right now. There’s so much in the world that feels like it is ‘coming and going’ and equally there is so much to ‘weep and rejoice’ over; and it’s not just Corona-related.
This time it’s the children and young people’s turn. The first time I watched this video I cried (2nd blog in a row I’ve talked about me crying while listening to a song – I promise this won’t be a theme in all my blogs!). It is such a beautiful and encouraging thing to watch. Children and young people from all over the nation pouring out their hearts and praise to God for 5 minutes through singing, sign language, assistive technology and movements. Simple yet incredibly powerful. The world is scary, uncertain, lonely, and anxiety-ridden for us adults at the minute – and it’s the very same for kids. But seeing them put that aside and declare that God is for us.. I think that’s pretty powerful! Here it is again if you haven’t seen it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiWZXLsdE9w
Since I have started working with children and young people, at camps and in UJ, I have constantly been reminded to never underestimate them. This is something that I love to be reminded of; it makes me take a humble step back, listen, and learn from their childlike faith. Do we give the kids in our lives or in our church enough credit? It’s easy to see them off to Sparklers and Fireworks, or pray for them from afar, but do we let ourselves learn from and be impacted by them? If yes – fantastic! If no or unsure – maybe ask yourself why? Have you taken the time to chat to and connect with the kids? Have you looked past the ‘they’re so cute’ or ‘they’re so confident’ mindset (which they are) when they’re up the front praying / acting / reading / talking and actually listened to the words they’re saying? This is something that I myself have been challenged by and need to do more.
In September, we had a new group of kids ‘graduate’ from creche and into Sparklers, so naturally our first Sunday back after Summer we had a party! We played games, ate cake, decorated pictures of ourselves and they wrote the ‘Sparklers and Fireworks Prayer’ together. I say ‘they’ wrote the prayer because they really did. Myself and Rachel sat back and watched them discuss and write the things they were passionate about and needed prayer for. Together they prayed for their friends, their time together in church and the world around them, specifically regarding climate change. I was so humbled and encouraged seeing how excited they were to bridge the gap and pray over these things.
The kids we have in Ignite are so on fire for God and we need to encourage them, drawing out that fire and praying for it to ignite even further (excellent pun). A few months ago it was a manic day of painting, cutting and colouring in Sparklers and Fireworks and I suggested reading the prayer together to end. Covered in paint and full of excitement, Elijah ran out the door and called back “don’t read it until I’m back, I want to pray!”
The kids we have are undeniable carriers of God’s love and light! Whether it’s during Ignite helping each other up onto the windowsill, encouraging each other in their crafts or playing together afterwards you can clearly see God’s love and light shining through them. I don’t want this to come across as just a ‘lovely’ or a tokenistic blog because of my job title – but a real challenge. Do we give the kids enough credit? Do we open ourselves enough to learn from and be encouraged by them?