Eager hands raised and voices squealed with excitement as the kids most accurately answered, "God! God is here! We're going to pray to God!"
All but one hand that is.
With a sincerely puzzled look, a young visitor of seven years old asked, "Huh? God? Who is that?"
(NOT pictured here.)
Our pint-sized friend had genuinely never heard of God or his love. She'd never heard that there was a designer behind the stars in the heavens or the fish in the sea. In all her seven years of life she'd never once experienced the joy of knowing that the Creator of the Universe could be her best friend. She was confused and worried, as if the other kids were privy to some kind of secret information that she didn't have. . . so she unashamedly asked the age-old question, "Who is God?"
I quickly reassured her that she had come to just the right place to satisfy her inquiry, for the Maker of the silky brown hairs on her head was also the One who loved her and gave his life for her. Through the course of kids club that evening she had the opportunity to learn who this mysterious God is and even had the chance to talk to him in prayer.
At Kids Club we are in the midst of a series on the Ten Commandments. How appropriate, because it was in the giving of this very special Law that God was answering that same question for Israel and it's national enemy, the Pharaoh of Egypt. Even Pharaoh was audacious enough to ask Moses, "Who is the Lord that I should listen to him."
In answer to his question, God revealed his supremacy over the false gods of Egypt in the Ten Plagues; showed his power over the forces of nature by parting the Red Sea. Miracles, signs, wonders. But when the show was over and the smoke had settled for a time, God did something even more outragious . ..God willingly entered into a covenant relationship with an incredibly ignorant and stubborn group of people, namely Israel. How odd of God! He God showed his love and desire for relationship by inscribing with his own finger the very words which would define what it meant to be a part of this covenant, the Ten Commandments.
These laws are not and never have been just tips for behaviour modification, or mere suggestions for a "better-than-most-people around-me" kind of life. They are not killjoys or spoilsports.
God's law addresses the intentions and impulses of the heart, because after all, that is what God is after. . .the heart. His laws are for our ultimate good and help us to know what it means to belong to God. In kid language. "God's loving laws keep us safe."
Back to our young lass.
It was a true privilege to introduce this kiwi kid to the Lord that night, knowing that a bit of light had penetrated her dark mind that day, exposing her to a whole new way of being and living. What a treat! This is why I love children's ministry, namely our Sunday night kids club!
Sadly though, there are millions like her, with absolutely no understanding of who God is. Millions go through life on the "outside" looking in, hungry to be filled with the love and freedom of a Saviour, but no idea how to make that a reality. They may use different words or actions, but most people are asking the same question, "Who is God?"
Friends, if you and I don't show them, who will?
By the way, who is that little puppet-man the kids have created in the photo? You got it; it's Moses. I know, it looks just like him, don't you think? :-)