By Caroline Park
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a good, restful Christmas break.
2018 is here and RiverKids and RiverYouth are back in session. Last Sunday (1/7), we started a new series called “When Walls Come Down” for the Elementary School Class and Youth Group, as well as the main service.
During this series, we want to give the kids an understanding of God’s movement in history toward connection and inclusion. Paul said in Galatians 3:28, "There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This wall-less world has always been God’s reality. Though walls still exist in our cultures in various forms, God is working in our world, bringing down the walls. The arc of God’s redemptive story moves toward radical inclusion, toward all things in connection with one another, and toward all of us belonging in the big universe of God’s love and grace.
This parable of a sort, which I wrote combining three different parables in the Bible (and which we shared with the Elementary School kids last Sunday), might tell this story and bring hope and light to our children’s vision:
The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed planted in this world.
Though it is small it grows and grows
into a big plant.
Though we do not understand how, it grows and flowers.
Birds come and make nests in it.
It provides shelter and food to many.
It produces many more seeds,
which in turn
find their own places to be planted.
In the fields and on the street,
inside and outside of a church yard.
And they grow and they spread
until they fill the whole world.
Until the glory of God fills the earth.
(Matthew 13:31-32, 13:33; Mark 4:26-29)
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions/concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.