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Kids Lead to the Kingdom of God

August 13, 2010

St. Peter’s Children’s Chapel is all set to re-start on Sunday, September 12. (You can read more about all of our plans–including Kids-Lead services and Christmas and Easter Pageants–by clicking the “Children’s Chapel” link above.)

And in honor of that, here’s a list of what the kids of St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City are thankful for. One of their teachers, Kathy Bozzuti-Jones, asked them to complete the sentence, “I notice God when…”

When we are on the way to Grandma’s and suddenly I see her house;
When I eat sweet peaches;
When my father tucks me in with my favorite teddy bear;
When my older sister lets me play with her friends;
When I pick up my baby brother and he smiles;
When I make up with my best friend;
When I try to cheer up someone who is crying;
When I get birthday presents;
When my grandpa tickles me;
When I see the sun setting from our house;
When we go to the beach;
When my teacher helps me;
When my uncle came out of the hospital;
When my dog licks me on my face;

Jesus makes it fairly clear we should emulate children if we are to have any hope of finding the Kingdom of God. And in particular, I think kids can teach us a lot about grattitude. Kids have a marvelous ability–much moreso than adults–to notice all the little things in life to be thankful for.

So I’m afraid I see things a bit differently from Bozzuti-Jones. She follows up this list with the injunction to parents and teachers to “teach children to thank God and notice God’s presence in all of life’s details,” but I think she’s got things backward. Parents and teachers can help provide the space for children to express their thanks to God, but I think we adults are the ones in need of that lesson. And children are the best teachers.

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