Last Sunday in church, I was minding my own business, while our Director of Children’s Ministries led the children’s time. Actually, I was reviewing my notes for the upcoming sermon and not paying any attention at all to what was happening. Then, it was strangely quiet. I looked up from my notes. Everybody in the church was staring at me. Our director was motioning to me to join her. Sheepishly, I wandered over as she told everybody that it was almost my birthday and the kids wanted to wish me a happy birthday and, on Thanksgiving Sunday, give thanks for ME! They also prepared a very funny video that ended with the kids shouting, “Pastor John, we love you!” To say I was deeply moved is an understatement. I was blown away.
The kids wrapped it up my giving me the gift of a book that they created. Its title is as follows:
“NOW THANK WE ALL OUR GOD,
WITH HEART AND HAND AND VOICES…
To Pastor John, with love from your
“Awesome Rock’n Kids”
After the service was over, I sat in my office and thumbed through that book. What the kids wrote and the pictures they drew, reduced me to rubble:
Pastor, John you are so kind and & a great bowler!
You are so funny…we love u pastor john!
I love you! Go Steelers.
I love you paster John by the way the Patriots are way better than stealers!
Pastor John, I am so blessed to have you!! You are the world and our insparations!!
You Rock 🙂 PJ
There were a couple dozen more expressions of love, but I suspect that you now understand why a page of my Awesome Rock’n Kids “Love” book is still a bit damp from a tear or two. Those kids in a few minutes made my day (Life!).
Last night at 3 A.M., I laid in bed wide-eyed. My mind raced like a hamster in a wheel as I recalled the violence in our world: A video released of young man shot 17 times on the streets of Chicago. Terror attacks in Paris and a plane shot down over Egypt killing hundreds of people. A policeman and two others shot and killed at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado. So much violence: “Why, Lord, why?” Then I remembered what a guy said recently: “We have so many bad kids. It’s no wonder everybody is killing each other. I am scared for our future.”
As I lay there troubled of mind and heart, our Awesome Rock’n Kids interrupted my negative stream of thought and a “still, small voice” whispered to my soul: “It’s not the kids.”
It’s NOT! There is no such thing as a bad kid. The grown-ups are the problem. Grown-ups can either create a loving and caring community that inspires our kids to make the world a better place or create a harsh, hateful environment that fills children with a rage that, too frequently, incites violence. Grown-ups are the ones who teach our kids to love or hate. Do not scapegoat our kids! As the Good Book says, “The sins of the fathers and mothers are visited upon their children,” to which I would add this addendum: “The love of the fathers and mothers is visited upon their children, too!” Whatever shoe fits, we grown-ups have to wear it.
John E. Holt, Cotuit, Massachusetts