May 2022

Serving the Lord with Joy

One of the things that occurred to me in the aftermath of Jesus’ resurrection is that we can find joy in the ways that God calls us to serve others. And one of the first things that came to my mind was our Well program on Wednesdays. When I think about those kids, I think about how hard it is sometimes to teach them. Not only did we try to get the kids to sing songs this past year (a first), but I had a classroom of rambunctious 5 graders during our bible teaching time!

I know I don’t have to tell some of you that teaching children is a calling, but there were weeks that I wondered if we accomplished anything at all. After being at school all day long, even after a snack, those kids were not ready to sing and to learn about the bible. But over time, we improved and the kids got better and learned more. At first it was very overwhelming and even when we got used to it, it was still hard work to keep their attention.

What helped me to enjoy it more was when I stopped being so task oriented and just started focusing on enjoying the time with the kids. Instead of coming down on them, I would tease them a little bit about something that they could easily correct, which would help them to learn better. Unless it was something said out of line, I would laugh with them about something that they said was funny. I also worked to affirm them when they got something right and encouraged them to try when it wasn’t easy.

Believe it or not, there was a lot of joy to be found in the time that I spent with them. It was
never easy, but it got better and now I can honestly say that I miss those kids, as hard as it’s been
to teach them. When I see them around town, it is a real joy to reunite with them and to catch up
on what they’re doing.

I think this is a way that we can honor God, to love the work we do and love the people God calls us to serve. That’s what the prophet Nehemiah tried to get God’s people to see. They had suffered consequences for not doing what God wanted them to do, but when they obeyed him, Nehemiah exclaimed: “…Don’t be sad, because the joy from the Lord is your strength!”

In Christ’s footsteps we walk,
Pastor Roger