What happens when jubilant children lead us in worship?

cast of the Jonah musical

We experienced a treat this past Sunday: kids leading us in worship!

Children in worship, the Cherub Choir doing the response to Psalm 8Children executed all parts of worship – ushering, conducting the Call to Worship, playing hand chimes, singing in choirs, and reading scripture. Here the Cherub Choir — representing our youngest — provided the musical reply to a responsive reading of Psalm 8.

Baptism Tucked into the service, was also a baptism of a young child. An appropriate opening to the musical that the kids put on about the story of Jonah! In a baptism, the sprinkling with water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, signifies a new life and becoming a child of God. Did Jonah experience his own sort of “sprinkling” to help him see his faith journey?

Being baptized means you join in our community of faith. One of my favorite parts of a baptism is when the pastor takes the child down the center aisle amidst everyone — parents usually in tow — where the congregation repeats their promise to nurture the faith of the child being baptized. Surrounded by love!

Baptism in the center of the congregation

On to the musical portion of the service! The Children’s choirs presented “Oh Jonah!”

You know the story: Jonah is a reluctant prophet who at first chooses not to follow God’s instructions. He ended up in the belly of a big fish.

 
I like how the kids portrayed Jonah (dressed in red) as being “inside” the big fish — surrounded by kids who were the “whale.” That’s a group of angels in orange, hanging out near by to offer guidance to Jonah.

Jonah in a big fish watched over by angels

This is a story about choices and responsibility. When he was “spit out”…with gusto, it was a second chance!

Jonah is almost spit out   Jonah is spit out of the big fish

This time Jonah went to Nineveh and gave the people God’s message. (Look at all of those cool Ninevehites!)

Jonah goes before the King of Nineveh

How does the story turn out?

a blue line


Photo credits:
I created Oh Jonah from a claymation video by Riley Marchand, shared under a Creative Commons License on YouTube. (I altered this screen shot to make Jonah appear much smaller than the big fish.)
Rest of photos from my archives.

Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.

What is this mysterious gift with its hidden meaning?

I wonder what is in this wrapped package?A gift shrouded in decorative wrappings always presents an element of mystery!

Okay, so in this case, there was not that much secrecy. It was, after all, “hand-out-the-Bibles-Sunday” — so you were well aware of what object hid beneath this pretty paper.

Except, even when the paper has been removed, the gift is still mysterious!

Indeed, what is the Bible all about?

It does not provide the answer to all of our questions.

Then how are we to approach it?

Learn with the children… It started in the worship service.

Bibles are distributed in worship

This Bible must be something that is significant! After all, every third grader received a gift of one from the church. It was given out in a reverent sort of way – in front of everyone – in a memorable ceremony with each parent handing their child their gift as their name was called.

Pastor Doug showed us some of his Bibles. He has more than one! This Bible must be really important.

“Pastor

The mystery continued… we discovered that this gift was hidden beneath layers of gift wrap — five layers, to be exact.

layer one - gift wrap   layer 2 - brown

It turns out as we unwrapped, that each layer taught us something about the Bible! After the gift wrap layer there was brown paper. An old-looking wrapper reminding us this is a book of very old stories. There is mystery in wondering why some of these stores were told over and over and over again! And why were they considered so important; important enough to be written down?

The next layer is the funny pages! (Do today’s kids even know what those are?) The comics tell stories, so the mystery is: What story is God telling me, here and now? It is for us to figure out! Thank goodness for dinner table discussion and for Sunday’s Cool to help!

 
Layer 4 - gold paperThe 4th layer is shiny, gold paper. Gold is something valuable. What great value to discover that every story in the Bible points to God’s love for us!

But why!? Why does he love me? I am flawed!

 
Layer 5 - white paperAh, the last layer was a clue: it was nice, clean, new, white. No mystery here; I get a fresh chance whenever I flub up! (Thanks, God!)

 
Checking out their new Bible

Finally, we made it to the final gift: our very own copy of the Bible! We were instructed to find our current Rotation story: The Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37.

How appropriate that we’ve been studying a parable! A parable is a story with a hidden meaning! I can trust that the mysteries will continue.

I wonder if I will allow the mystery to nourish me?

 
It’s time for the group photo…

The class of 2025!


Photo credits:
Last group photo taken by Tom Gardner.
Rest of photos from my archives.

Are you seeing ads? They are not from me! They are placed by WordPress, who otherwise offers a free platform from which to share lots of good-ness. If you see an inappropriate ad, please report it to support@wordpress.com. Include the URL, the date/time the ad appeared, and a screenshot of the ad.