On June 2, 2013 we celebrated Children’s Sunday at La Verne Church of the Brethren. Here are the reflections on God’s love given by some of our children.
Nara – 4th Grade
What do swimming pool videos, the story about Mary and Peter, and today’s Bible verse, have in common? They’re all about water.
I love water. Cold water, warm water, fast water, slow water, all kinds of water. Being in water is wonderful. It feels so good that you have to go deeper, and then the water will urge you to go deeper still. I love that feeling so much. That’s how God’s love is. When I am in water I feel like I am in God’s love and there is nothing to be afraid of.
Just the other day, when I was in Yosemite, we rafted the Merced river. My sister and I got out of the raft and hung on to the side while it was still moving. It was a little scary and a little exciting. I knew that nothing was going to happen to me because I was holding on tight to the side of the raft, and I knew Mom and Dad were good at paddling. Then when our feet touched the bottom, I felt safe. Part of me wanted to do it again and part of me didn’t. I ended up doing it again. Then we pulled the raft to shore.
I skipped a lot of stones on the river. Some skipped once, others skipped five times and some didn’t skip at all. Skipping stones made me feel like I was part of the river even if I wasn’t in it.
After church I challenge you to play in water and love others like God loves you!
Rebecca – 3rd Grade
I am going to share about God’s love from the scripture Isaiah chapter 44 verse 3
“For I will pour water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon your descendants and my blessing on your offspring.”
In regards to the Israelites, those who accept and serve the Lord will be assured salvation.
God will call them his own and He will provide them water upon their thirsty land to moisten it and make it fruitful. God will bless his servants and descendants.
Water refreshes, cleanses and quenches my thirst.
Water lets me enjoy swimming and river rafting.
Water helps me live and grow.
Water is valuable and should not be wasted.
Water is a gift from God and in return for that gift, I will pray, worship and say thanks be to God!
Alana – 4th Grade
The spirit and the bride say “Come.” And let everyone who hears say, “Come”. And let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.
When I hear this scripture, I think that those who follow behind God are scared of his awesome power of love. But, those who walk with him are brave followers and are blessed with the love of God. An example of this is a swimming pool. Jumping into it is scary. It’s too high, my body will go too fast…what if I go too deep into the water and can’t breathe?? This fear is like jumping from a diving board into the deep end of God’s love, which is never ending. The brave will jump in easily. But, the frightened will stay behind. No matter if you are frightened or not, everyone is loved by God. Therefore, all are followers of him and will be loved eternally.
When I was very little, my mother tried to teach me how to swim. I felt very scared and I stayed very close to her. I could not, and would not, swim with her. However, as I grew, I became stronger and braver. Now, I am a strong swimmer and can swim with my mother. I no longer stay behind. This is an example of the brave helping the weak grow stronger.
Marley – 5th Grade
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city.”
We’ve been talking about jumping in to God’s love, just like we are jumping into cool, refreshing waters.
And this verse is talking about a time, at the end of time on earth, when everything is perfect and from God. Then, the book of Revelations says, there will be a perfect city, the new Jerusalem, and a perfect place where all the people who are there will know God’s love in a pure, perfect way, like splashing in clear water.
But today is not that time. Today, we are all living here on the actual earth and things are not perfect. We all have things go wrong in our lives. Our parents get mad at us. Our brothers and sisters get things we don’t get and we feel like it isn’t fair. Sometimes we feel like people don’t listen to us when we talk, just because we are little kids. Our teachers want us to do a lot of homework. People want us to stop fidgeting and whispering when we are bored – and we get bored a lot, especially at school.
Sometimes other things go wrong. Our grandparents or other people we love get sick, or can’t do the things they used to do with us anymore. Friends have to move away. People we used to go to school with start going to different schools. We try out for a team or a group doing an activity and maybe we don’t get picked. Sometimes the people we wanted to have for our best friends play with other people, or have parties and don’t invite us. I’m a little kid, so I’m giving little kid examples. But even though a lot of you are grown up, the things that go wrong for you or make you feel bad aren’t really very different than the things that go wrong for us kids. I’ll bet a lot of you grown-ups don’t feel that different inside from when you were little kids yourselves.
So in this real life world where things are not perfect, what does it mean to say the river of life flows from God’s throne? Can we really jump into God’s love right now, without waiting for things to get better first?
That’s the best part – we don’t have to wait. There is no time that is ever going to be better to jump into God’s love. Because God loves us now, when we are not perfect. When things are not perfect. When the world is not perfect. When our lives are not perfect.
The river of life is flowing by, right here, right now, down the street called Bonita in the middle of the city called La Verne. The river of life has our parents in it, and your children, and your wives and husbands and boyfriends and girlfriends. The river of life has your pets in it, even when they chew your shoes or pee on your furniture. The river of life has your house in it, if you are lucky enough to have a house, even when it needs to be repaired and costs too much money to fix. The river of life has your car in it, even when it doesn’t run very well. The river of life has your boss in it, and your mother in law, and the test your doctor told you that, at your age, you really ought to have.
The river of life, for me, has my school projects in it, even though they take a long time and I don’t get to watch TV till they are done. The river of life has adventures I didn’t expect, troubles I wish I didn’t have to deal with, and things I looked forward to for years and years.
For me, the river of life is going by so fast that I can remember my preschool teacher, but now it has been a long time since I saw her. I can remember my kindergarten teacher (and she might even be here today), but it seems like forever since I was in kindergarten. Now I’m graduating from elementary school, and in the fall I go to middle school. I don’t feel any different in a lot of ways from when I was in kindergarten, but in other ways, I remember all the times I had fun and all the times I felt sad and everybody I met up till now. There are people I love, still, who aren’t here anymore, like my grandpa Rodney, that I wish I could see again, so I could show him the things I just did, or so he could see me play soccer or be in a theater show. And so, sometimes, even though I’m only 10, I feel like the river of life is flowing too fast.
But sometimes I feel like it is flowing too slow. I can’t wait to get older, and be able to do more things. I am excited about all the things that I get to do later, like having a chance to be in Troubadours at Ramona, or play club soccer, or learn to drive, or go to a dance in a pretty dress with my hair all done up . There’s so much still coming I can look forward to.
The point is, the river of life is right outside our door, all the time, wherever we are, whoever we are, whatever age we are. It is not something that comes someday, when the earth ends and things are perfect. It is today, it is here, it is now. You are in the river of life right now. You don’t have to miss it, because you are looking for something else to happen later.
Now is exactly the right time to jump into God’s love. And right now, when you jump in, it will feel cool and refreshing, and you will feel clean and new. Because all it takes to feel clean and new and whole and free is to be here now.
Be here now. Right now. Jump into the river of life. Feel God’s love.