Preparing for Worship – Aug 13

by | Aug 14, 2023 | Preparing For Worship

At each family dedication I present the child with their own story Bible, Growing in God’s Love. Yes, I realize the child cannot yet read. As they mature and grow, they begin to shape and understand their own story. My prayer and hope is that when they come to realize their story and the story of how God is woven into and interacts with their story, they see that too as gospel.

The editor of Growing in God’s Love, Elizabeth Caldwell, states, “The Bible is less a book of answers than it is an invitation to wrestle with stories and meanings. Engaging a child’s imagination by inviting her to ask questions of a story helps her realize it has meaning for her life today. When a child is invited to pause and hear a story and think about how the story is speaking to his life, then he grows up knowing the Bible will be there throughout his life. He learns that the Bible is not an answer book that he will outgrow, but one that he will grow into as he matures.”

We are storytellers! But not only that, we are characters in each other’s stories. Some characters are static and minor, and others are main characters. No matter how long we know them, they play a role that affects us in small or big ways.

For 16 years, Joan Hammons has been a character in many of our stories. She has sat with our children to ensure they know the story of God, relationship, community and love. Today we do not just honor and thank someone who has been with us for so long, but we honor a main character in the story of Wilshire Baptist Church, one who has soothed cries, held hands, brought laughter, engaged imaginations and enriched us as a congregation.

As we prepare for worship, I want you to pause and ponder your own story. Think of the characters who nurtured you and helped you grow in your faith. The people who held your hand and told you, “You matter to me, and you matter to God.” And when you have gathered them all in your heart and mind, say “Thank you!”