Bless the Children ‘
Thursday morning, I am driving with Walter Rushing and Clinton Griffin to Oscoda, Michigan for the opening day of a summer camp for boys and girls that is sponsored by my church, the Plymouth United Church of Christ, which is in Detroit, Michigan. 46 boys and girls from the neighborhood immediately near the church, plus a few children from Flint, Michigan, will stay at the camp for the next four days and nights. I will be leading an outdoor worship service at 2 PM EST, with a beautiful lake as a backdrop. Walt Rushing will lead praise and worship songs. I asked Clinton Griffin to help with the driving. Atty. Lois Collins is the director of the camp. Her husband, Atty. Jeffery Collins is the assistant director of the camp. Several church members volunteer to assist with the camp.
A Few weeks ago, the doorbell of the church rang and about 10 children bustled in asking if they could fill out the application to attend the free camp that we sponsor. The children were so excited and hopeful for the opportunity to attend the camp. I asked them if they knew who I am and if any of them had ever attended the church. I was pleased to hear many of them say they remembered me from the camp and that they knew I was the minister of the church. It was really touching to see how interested the children were in attending the camp. Seeing those children reminded me why our church sponsors this camp. The camp is free for the children, but the total cost to the church is $15,000. One club in the church, the Pilot Club, has raised the funds to cover the expense of the camp.
If you would like to see what the camping experience looks like, check out my page on Facebook, Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 2 PM EST. As I think about what we are trying to accomplish with the camp: taking inner city youth away from the concrete, brick and steel of the cold city, to expose the children to the fresh water of the lake, clean, fresh air, birds, bugs, and frogs – I believe we are acting in a manner that Jesus would have us to act, by blessing the children. Pray for us and for the children.
Mark 10: 13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. 
Questions for Reflection:
- Why do you think Jesus was so affirming of children?
- How can the modern Christian affirm Jesus like Jesus?
Prayer: Lord, help me to affirm children in their hopes and aspirations. Grant that I might live my life in such a manner that I might be an inspiration to children. Lord, teach me to encourage parents in their efforts to raise their children. Grant that I might never be too busy to take time to talk with a child, encourage a child and to love the children. Help me this day to be more like you. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
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