“But Jesus intervened: ‘Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me.
God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.'”
Matthew 19:13 (The Message)
They came! And they kept coming! Children pouring down the center aisle of our church on Sunday morning. Smiling faces, skipping feet, all clean and shining — they loved that they were coming. Coming to hear God’s Word in our Sunday morning Children’s Message.
I selfishly hoped that it was a long message, and that the pastor’s sermon was even longer. I’d received a call on Friday asking me to substitute for one of our teachers who was to have made an announcement about our need for Sunday School teachers. Since she would be in class, which runs subsequently with our worship service, she wouldn’t be there to do the announcement. Would I do it for her? Fortunately for her, she’s a person I just can’t refuse! So, there I sat Sunday morning still muddling over what to say, how to catch the attention of folks in the pews, the older set whose children are off in college now. I should have been paying closer attention, I know, but I was running out of time.
Suddenly, I heard words being whispered into my ear. What? Did you say something? Who’s there? The words came again, “Water my garden.” Whatever could that mean, especially in the middle of worship? And again, “Water my garden.” Then, it was like a cool breeze touching my shoulders, and I knew. I knew He had been there, sitting on my shoulder, whispering His sacred wishes in my ear. Of course, these children are the future of our church and like a garden they need to fed, watered and nurtured into His Kingdom and into His knowledge. I couldn’t fathom the beauty of this analogy and keep my mind on the pastor’s sermon, but I knew I’d been given a gift to share with our congregation. And share it I did!
I’m spending time in prayer this week hoping that His Words came through me with effect and power, and that they have stirred a longing in someone’s soul to reach out and touch this beautiful garden filled with bright and eager faces, and that they will come and water His garden.