September 26 – Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

jesus and childrenLast night I filled in for Marcos as the teacher for the “Walking With the Word” Faith Acts class. Marcos and Erin are on baby watch, so we figured we’d give him the night off. The class, which will run all fall long, is an introduction to the Bible, and I would recommend it to anyone. The table in Room 6 is just about full, but we could squeeze in a couple more chairs. Hopefully Marcos, with news of a new baby, will be back in class next week.

We began the class by talking about how we hear God speaking through the words of the Bible and what we might expect the Bible to teach us (how we might glorify and enjoy him!). We heard some powerful stories in those opening moments of class.

The Bible Busy Bees, three and four year olds, our youngest children’s choir, meet with Kirsten Waterson in Room 4 during Faith Acts. There’s a connecting door between Rooms 4 and 6 and sound has no problem seeping under the door from one room to the next. I hope the noise of the “Walking With the Word” adults did not bother the Bible Busy Bees. I know the Bible Busy Bees did not bother the adults.

The Bible Busy Bees did not bother the adults last night, which is not to say we did not hear them. We heard them very well and are glad we did.

As the adults were sharing some stories about the ways that God has spoken to them through the words of the Bible, the Bible Busy Bees were warming up and singing their first song of the night. The Bees choir has a lot of members this year – our recent LPC baby boom filling the nursery and now the Angels Sunday School class and the Bible Busy Bees choir.  “How does the Bible speak to you?” I asked the adults in Room 6.  An answer came as music seeped into the room from under the door connecting our room with Room 4.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

It might be that the Bible Busy Bee class on Thursday evenings is one of the most important things that happens during the week at LPC.

Children around the world have been singing the simple words to “Jesus Loves Me” for 150 years.  These words, planted gently in the hearts and minds of three and four year olds, will stay in those hearts and minds as long as they have life. Kirsten and company are making an investment that will pay dividends for 80 and 90 years, words remembered when life gets hard and it seems as if no one cares. Words that will be sung to a next generation 25 or 30 years from now when our Bible Busy Bees have children of their own.

Children around the world have been singing the simple words to “Jesus Loves Me” for 150 years.  It was one of the songs the missionaries brought to China, and was well loved by the Chinese, so much so that in some older hymnals the familiar tune is called “China.”  The story is told that when diplomatic relations with China were reopened in the early 1970’s, there was great concern among Western Christians regarding the plight of the Chinese Christians.  Had they survived the Cultural Revolution and the persecution of the previous 25 years?  A Chinese Christian leader was able to get a message to an American diplomat with the words, “The this I know people are well.” Amazingly, the church had not just survived, it had grown. The censors thought it a meaningless message, but the meaning was clear to those who knew the old children’s hymn.

The meaning is clear and it is a message to sustain us through all our lives. “Jesus love me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

Parents, are you teaching your children well?  Church members are you remembering the simple message when life gets hard and it seems as if no one cares?  Friends, are you exploring the Word we’ve been given, diving deep into its meaning?  “Jesus Loves Me” is a little like that door connecting Rooms 4 and 6.  Room 4 is where the Bible Busy Bees begin to learn the good news of the Gospel.  But we don’t allow 30-year olds in the Busy Bee Choir.  They need to walk through that door and into Room 6, Bibles open, getting to know more and more about what the Word tells us.  Of course, it’s not just that one class on Thursday evenings, though it is a good starting place.  Couples Bible studies and men’s Bible studies, women’s Bible studies and young adult Bible studies, evening Bible studies and morning Bible studies; there are lots of places for adult to learn what the Bible tells us.

Jesus loves us.  Have you heard the Bible tell you so? Here are couple of singers singing the familiar song: Johnny Cash here and Whitney Houston here – both of whom knew about hard times and times when it seemed as if no one cared, times when you need to know that Jesus loves you.

See you Sunday!