“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” – John 15:9
Sunday morning, having mentioned WFPC’s “Children’s Garden” in my post, I took a few minutes to see what’s blooming. I’m glad I did. Tucked away behind the admin wing, what started out as one small Japanese maple (planted to improve Rebekah’s view) has evolved into a complex, layered, inviting space that pulled me in for a closer look.
It turned out to be the perfect place to pause and go over my notes for the “children’s moment” I’d been asked to lead in worship later in the morning.
Sunday’s theme was music, and sharing the stories behind some of our favorite hymns. So I talked about – and then played my arrangement of – “Yes, Jesus loves me.” for the kids.
I asked the children – and the church – if they knew 2017’s most popular song to date. Turns out it’s “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran. What’s popular changes from week to week and year to year. The top song the year I was born was “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis. The year we were married The Knack’s “My Sharona” dominated radio play.
“Jesus loves me (this I know)” has been an all-time favorite since 1860,” I told the children. “Why? Because the essential message is so timeless and so true. I want you all to understand that know matter how young you are, or how old, there is only one thing you need to know about Jesus. Jesus loves you so very much. I know this. I know this because the Bible tells me so. It’s the most important thing to know in the whole world.”
One interesting tidbit I dug up concerned a phrase Chinese Christians used during times of persecution to avoid the eyes – and the repercussions – of government censors. The referred to themselves as, “The this I know people.”
I really like that. Are we this I know people? Can we stand with the children and say, without hesitation, Jesus loves me this I know?
It’s part of the realization – the actualization of truth – that brings us to the table for communion. “Turn the tables on hate by setting a table for love.” A sanctuary filled with the gospel of light and love.
It was a good Sunday morning for worship, for prayer, for meditation, and for community. You can listen to all the music, and hear my children’s moment, by clicking this link: September 3 at WFPC.
Yes, Jesus loves me – 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.