Hannah’s Message

Jesus served children as much as he did adults. And he taught us to do the same thing. Frankly, children have been among my greatest concerns during the COVID-19 crisis. Are we taking care of the little ones as much as we should? Are we listening to them? Are we talking with them about their fears? Are we helping them understand the world in crisis through the eyes of faith? Do we encourage them to process their feelings by talking about the world from their perspective? Most importantly, are we teaching them God’s Word for tough times? 

As a pastor of an amazing congregation in the heart of Mississauga with lots of little ones running around the campus, I’m deeply thankful for the work of our children’s ministry associate, Miss Heidi. She’s amazing for lots of reasons including being creative, passionate, and competent in teaching children. But the thing I love about her work most is that she has Jesus’ heart and perspective for children.  She knows that serving the children is accomplishing the mission of Jesus to “make disciples of all nations.” She’s a disciple making leader of children. 

She’s an example to all the adults in our church family in how to serve children in the mission of Jesus. She talks to them as fellow believers in Jesus. She listens to them as respected fellow citizens of the kingdom of God. She honors them by praying for them and by designing ministry that she has discerned is what they need during any given season in their lives. She’s very much a shepherd of children. 

Thanks, Miss Heidi for serving our children spiritually, faithfully, and wisely. And special thanks to all of our children for teaching us how to endure a hard time with a smile and messages of hope. They’ve experienced as much disruption as us adults, and yet they have proven resilient, faithful, and spiritually strong. Truthfully, oftentimes they get it more than we do. 

Children like Hannah who spoke one of the clearest messages of hope and faith during the last four months. Early in the pandemic, she wrote messages of hope and peace on her driveway, sidewalk, and lamp post for all of her neighbors to see (and feel!). I’ve thought about that message several times. In typical childlike fashion, she captured the simple truth that guides our faith. Hope in God and love one another. Specifically, she wrote, “Trust in God” and “I love you.” Notice it isn’t just “have faith” or “believe” but “trust in God.” And it isn’t just “love one another” it’s “I love you.” 

This is the message of the New Testament. It’s “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6).  You say you have faith in God. Prove it by loving others the way Jesus does. But the kind of love that the Bible prescribes is only attainable through faith. For Christians, faith is the root and love is the fruit. Faith is the “pivotal” virtue BUT “true Christian love creates a sympathizing and merciful spirit and disposes a person to be public-spirited.” (David Clyde Jones)

Children understand it. Why can’t we? Trust in God and “I love you.”

Stay cool (in every way) church family. It’s hot out there.
 
Pastor Deric