The after school program at the church I serve at kicked off on Wednesday. I have the joy of teaching the K5-2nd grade class. On Wednesday afternoon eleven smiling little faces paraded their way into my classroom for some active learning, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and sing-a-long songs. It was great.
Toward the end of the night, we got into our Bible story for the week – Creation. I always, always, ALWAYS start with Creation at the beginning of a new school year because what we believe about how we came to be shapes our life and our beliefs so much. (You can hear more about that here.)
I was reading to the kids from The Jesus Storybook Bible.
They were chanting along “Hello sun! Hello moon!…You’re good! You’re good! You’re good!” As I read the Creation account.
The energy was off the charts, joy glowed from each little face.
As we broke up into small groups to discuss the story though the tone changed.
“How do you think God feels about you?”
“Bad,” said the little girl. 1st grade.
“Yeah, we do stuff God doesn’t like.” Added a 2nd grader.
“Well, yes, but God also made you.”
“So, do you think that has anything to do with how God thinks about you?”
I spent a decent amount of time in college working with a ministry whose starting point for evangelism was to tell people they were sinners. While that’s certainly true, the older I get and the more I work with people, I don’t necessarily think people need to be told they’re broken. We know we’re broken. We know in the marrow of our bones something is not right. Even our children understand, “I’m bad.”
But before we were broken, before all the bad, God said “you’re good! you’re very good!”
I think we forget that sometimes…or maybe that’s just me.
I remember the broken, the bad.
I’m keenly aware of my own propensity to self-destruction.
I forget, easily and frequently that I am a beloved person, made in the image of God to lovingly display who God is to those around me.
Believe that today.
No matter how far you feel, how messed up it is, how broken…
You were created good.
Listen to the voice that is calling out that name:
Let the echo of those words shake the dust off your soul.
Let their rhythm move your feet to the melodies of a grace that redeems every blessed broken thing.
Dare your heart to believe in a Creator who not only formed you, but loves you still and no matter what.