Friday, July 6, 2018
Happy July everyone! The older I become, the more I think I understand what the months of July and August represent. Once, some years ago, I felt that July and August were two months that were filled with the excitement of games, vacations, and loads of outdoor activities with friends and family. Best of all, July and August was a time that did not include school or homework. Unfortunately, this feeling only lasts for a short time. The feeling that a university student has in the summer is much different than that of a child. Summer becomes a time to catch up on: sleep, leisure activities, and maybe some time to pay attention to that one friend you perhaps ignored over the course of the academic year.
Fortunately, this summer I have the blessed opportunity to once again work with the Hamilton Presbytery Summer Day Camp Team. Travelling from church to church setting up a day camp program and sharing the love of God with the children of that particular faith community. I am no more than half-way through week one of seven but I have to say that my spirit is already overflowing with joy.
One particular story that will resonate in my heart for a while comes from our first camp location at Fifty United Church in Winona, located about fifteen minutes down the road from us at Trinity Beamsville. As the children were leaving after the first day of camp, I overheard a conversation between a young girl and her grandmother. The grandmother had asked her granddaughter what she had learned at camp today. I heard the young girl respond back: “When we are scared, Jesus can help us.” Over the next few days I thought a lot about this response. No, perhaps this was not the point of the bible story that day, or any day for that matter but was that really how we measure our success as camp leaders? Isn’t the fact that we were able to take away this message of Christ’s never ending love an even bigger accomplishment than remembering the details of a bible story told that day? Yes, I believe so.
This comment also reminds us adults of the simple, yet very important message that Christ teaches us. Trusting in Christ and allowing his love and strength lead us through good and bad is something that I sometimes struggle with. I often find myself too tied up in the problem and forgetting this message of assurance. Sometimes our adult lives end up getting away from us and I am very thankful of the gift of children who often remind us of these important messages.
As the hymn says, children are the seeds of God. We must nurture and care for them. At the same time, let’s not forget the fact that we can learn so much from children them when we take the time to listen. I am glad we had the chance to plant the seeds of Christ’s love in this little girl and all of the children we met this week. Most of all, I am glad this girl has begun to share what she has learned with other people she meets. This sets a perfect example of what we can all do.
This week, I really do hope you can join us for Sunday worship to hear some stories, scriptures, and songs! It is shaping up to be a wonderful service led by people from our church family: Rosemary, Armand, and myself. I don’t want to give too much away but there might even be an opportunity to request your own song during the service. Come prepared with your singing voice. Let’s make a joyful noise unto the Lord together!