Preparing for Worship – Brianna Childs.
We follow a big God
Who offers amazing grace
The God who made the starry skies
Delights in your shining face
God’s love is deep and wide
God’s love is strong and true
As big as the galaxy
As near as your next breath to you
This was the chorus of “Big God,” the theme song for Passport Kids! Camp this past week. As I spent four days with our kids from Wilshire and kids and chaperones from CBF churches across Texas and beyond, I was so grateful for the messages they were absorbing.
As we spent time at the Heart of Texas Camp and Retreat Center in Brownwood, I was replaying many of my own memories from Preteen Camp spent in the exact same place. I went to the same dining hall, swam in the same pool and played lots of the same games outside that our own kids experienced this week. A major difference for them, though, was the beautiful, intentional theology communicated to them throughout our time together. As a child at Preteen Camp and elsewhere, I often absorbed messages of shame, of sin, and of male language for God. For our kids this week, they received sermons of love, of peace, of kindness, of community and songs with lyrics that did not assign God a gender. As small as some of these things may seem, I found it healing for my own preteen self and incredibly encouraging for the future of our kids’ faiths.
Rather than speaking shame, they heard grace and love. Rather than a distant God, they heard that God is as near as their next breath. Rather than a message of earning God’s love, they heard that it’s so big, deep, wide, strong and true that nothing can separate them from it. Even through these chorus lyrics, they heard that it’s possible to hold big ideas in tension.
While these messages might come across as simple, I think each of us, no matter our age, needs to hear them every day. May you know today that God is big enough to make all the stars in the sky and simultaneously near enough to delight in your shining face too.