This past Sunday I got the chance to teach first grade Sunday school. The story for the week was “Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray.” We had interesting discussions about prayers. We analyzed our prayers and found that they mostly consist of requests. We practiced prayers of thanks, praise and confession. It was a good lesson with a cool group of children.
Then I remembered that I had spent the previous summer teaching the Lord ’s Prayer in sign language as part of our twice a month children’s messages. I asked the class to sign with me and was touched to see they remembered and could sign each petition. Because of careful study that beautiful prayer has been installed deep within their brains.
The prayer becomes grace as it weaves its way into their faith.
I love using sign language to teach children things. It keeps their hands busy while their brains learn, it connects movement to new learning, and it exposes them to another language other than their home language. I was happy to teach them the Lord’s Prayer in sign, but their knowledge of this prayer is not my doing. I am blessed, along with the parents, teachers, and pastors of the children in our church. We are blessed to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. We are a part of God’s work to teach His Word.
I am the director of child and family ministry at our church. When I recruit members to volunteer for various events I often encourage them to “find their joy.” I try to emphasize that working with children is a “get to” not a “have to.” God provides joy in the teaching and sharing of His Word.
There is grace in service and it works its way into our hearts.
There is joy whenever God’s Word is taught or learned, whenever it is spoken, read, or heard. Such actions grow our faith and increase our joy.
There is joy in God’s Word.
There is promise in God's Word.
There is grace in God’s Word.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth: it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:8-11