The leading priests and the teachers of religious law saw these wonderful miracles and heard even the children in the Temple shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David.” But the leaders were indignant. They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?”
“Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’” – Matthew 21:15-16
Sunday a week ago I took my Nikon DSLR to church and took a lot of great photographs. I’d been asked to document Youth Sunday, so I came prepared (you can see the results at “Go Light Your World!“).
This week, however, I simply showed up for a regular communion service. But before long, and once Rebekah started handing out Bibles to the seven-year-olds who had competed “Prep for Worship” training, I scrambled to pull out my iPhone so I could capture a few images. I’m glad I did.
For Rebekah, this is one of the more meaningful events on the church calendar. She says that “placing God’s word in the hands of our children,” is at the heart of everything we do in discipleship ministries.
And the kids respond to her passion with theirs. She takes the time to tell each child what their name means, and to encourage them to walk with God. The association between taking these steps of faith with such love, care, joy, and in the context of an encouraging community is not lost on these children.
The entire sanctuary was filled up with life, and with the beauty of what it means to walk with Jesus. This is a place where life is experienced, encouraged, nurtured, literally regenerated, and then sent out into the world as a witness. What a privilege.
A Powerful Story:
The message – and it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted a link here – was short but extremely powerful. During Lent our congregation has been focused on some of the questions Jesus asked his followers (and asks us), and this time around it was, “Do you see this woman?” ((Luke 7:36-50)
Rebekah shared a very poignant personal story that illustrates how routinely we all tend to close our eyes to people, and to situations, we don’t want to see – or won’t allow ourselves to see. If you want to listen (and I’d recommend it), the message runs from around the 16-minute mark to 32-minutes on the live feed, linked here: “Do You See this Woman” – Rebekah Maul.
She concluded with a very direct invitation to follow Jesus. Jesus doesn’t just give us the eyes with which to see, Jesus gives us the heart with which to love. We can’t hope to make the kind of a difference in this world that these beautiful children need to witness outside of a dynamic, forward moving, personal relationship with the Living God.
Jesus doesn’t just give us the eyes with which to see, Jesus gives us the heart with which to love.
And Jesus is The Way (and the truth, and the life) to enter into that kind of faith.
- “Have faith enough to acknowledge, to recognize, and to accept Jesus as the one who forgives all our debt,” Rebekah said. “And be freed…. be saved… be at peace.”
Be saved, be at peace – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.