Dear St. Lukers,
I was five years old when I received my first Bible. It was a baby blue “Precious Moments” Bible that had thousands of tiny words, some maps, and absolutely no pictures. To say it did not get used much was an understatement. My mom’s Bible on the other hand, was the complete opposite. The cover and pages displayed years’ worth of beloved use. Worn, underlined, highlighted, and falling apart – it had journeyed with my mom through the highest and lowest moments of her life. She discovered and rediscovered the truth of who she was as a child of God and the plans God had for her.
My mom was an integral part of my faith formation. She loved her Bible and spent hours teaching my sisters and I the stories of faith. I owe my earliest understanding of God to her intentionality. To this day, when I think of my mom, I picture her sitting early in the morning in a chair, with her Bible open; quietly praying for herself and her family.
My mom’s beloved Bible finally fell apart when I was in college, and she heartbrokenly replaced it. But she could never dispose of it. She said it was too dear a friend. Years later, I understand why. The Bible is one of the greatest ways we experience the character of God. God’s love is laced in every story, and as we read and wonder, we make sense of our lives.
As we invite kindergarteners to receive their Bible this Sunday in worship, I pray that the Bible comes alive to them. Their Storybook Bible is filled with beloved stories, colorful illustrations, wondering questions, and introductory faith words. I hope that they can see themselves in all of the characters; that they can be brave like Esther, doubtful like Thomas, loving like Jesus.
To the caretakers of these children, we invite you to be intentional. Invite your child to see God in all that they experience. Allow questions to form as you read, but don’t be so quick to give answers that are neat and bow-tied. God is loving and good but also mysterious and wild. Be intentional about finding mature, Christian adults that will connect and pray for your kids. This might mean asking to meet regularly one-on-one with a pastor, or asking Christian adults to seek out a growing relationship with your child. Ask your child today if they know five adults who love them or are praying for them, you might be surprised at their answers.
To the St. Luke’s faith community: thanks to so many of you who have contributed your favorite Bible stories, verses, and characters over the last few weeks. What a spiritual gift and a beautiful introduction to our children’s faith journey. But your ability to be a spiritual voice in these lives doesn’t end after service this week. One of the ways to continue this is to get to know them. Learn our children’s names and ask them how they are doing with their Bible stories. If you want to go even further, sign up to be a part of our Children’s Ministry. We want our kids and families to be seen, valued, and loved, and to grow in the knowledge and grace of God. Feel free to bring along your Bible, too as you share your story.
St. Luke’s Director of Children’s Ministries