March 16, 2014

Children of Praise

"O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise!"
(Psalm 8:1-2a)
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The last two pews in our church sanctuary are reserved for nursing mothers and families with small children. When we taught preschool Sunday School class, we began sitting at one end of the pew to help parents corral their active little ones between us and them. We still sit in the back even though we aren't teaching a class at the moment and I love watching the little ones worship God in their own way. They do not have any inhibitions about getting up and praising God like the older proper generations. :)

I watched two little sisters this morning having a grand time swaying to the praise music, clapping and waving their chubby little hands. We also allow children and teens to praise God during our gifts of gratitude time. Sometimes they wander all over the map, but sometimes they have real pearls. You know the saying "out of the mouths of babes." Well, it's like that.

Our pastor preached out of Genesis this morning. The story of Noah. He said after Noah came out of the ark, he built an altar to God, an altar of gratitude. By building it and burning a sacrifice on it, Noah was praising God for keeping them safe from the floodwaters that had covered the whole earth. And God found the aroma of the sacrifice pleasing and then blessed Noah and his sons by making a covenant between them. And to sign the dotted line, so to speak, He gave them a sign in the sky -- a beautiful rainbow.

This story reminded me of my bull story from last week and how God kept us, descendants of Noah, safe from the raging waters of Brush creek. Now, not only will I be reminded of Noah's gratitude when I see rainbows, but I will be doubly grateful that God saved both of us from raging waters.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's day. One of the Irish stories I heard growing up was that at the end of the rainbow was a pot of gold. I believe the story was told to children to warn them that tricky leprechauns would capture and enslave them if they sought to get to it by devious means, but I prefer to think of the pot of gold as an allegory to God's Son, Jesus Christ and his gift of salvation. God destroyed all mankind except the righteous man Noah. Men were not given a choice at that time to turn away from their depravity and be saved from the destructive floodwaters, but because of God's covenant of love with Noah, his descendants were and are now given a choice to turn to Jesus Christ and be taken into God's family by adoption. I'm thankful for that because I am an adopted daughter of the KING -- a princess, really, in God's kingdom.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!"
(1 John 3:1).

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"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." (Hebrews 12:28).