Just before the turn of the year, I was scrolling Facebook, and was moved by a post that simply made my day, my month, and maybe even my year.
JCBC member, Rachel Sauls, had tagged me in a post featuring the students of her first grade class, at Killian Hill Christian School.
As it turns out, Rachel has been teaching her students the words to my benediction every day for the better part of the year. It is a part of their daily rhythm.
You know the words….
May Christ go before you, to prepare your way.
May Christ go behind you, on days when you fear and feel like retreating, to encourage you one step at a time.
May Christ go to your right, and Christ to your left,
abiding closer than even a sister or a brother.
May Christ go above you, on the days when dark clouds roll in, to remind you there is One above the clouds, who at the end of the day has the final word.
May Christ go beneath you, girding you with confidence, and removing all forms of fear.
But mostly…May Christ go in you, transforming you from the inside out, until your hearts beat in rhythm with His.
You hear my voice each week, bidding you this blessing to be embraced by grace and embodied by the love and presence of our Lord.
But, there is something about hearing the voices of children bid the same. Give yourself a gift. Take a moment and watch…
As I listen to the sweet sound of children’s voices issuing such words of power and comfort, a thought occurs to me.
This. Is. The. Point.
When we gather for worship from week to week, you and I are strengthened by the words we use and the worlds we envision. This is the symbolic power of worship. Our imaginations are provoked in word and deed, in sight and sound, with hope-filled words of empowerment and courage. Yes, indeed, the presence of Christ abounds on all sides, especially the inside.
But the truest power of worship; the deepest possibility for transformation comes when we leave the sacred space of the sanctuary or family life center, and share what we have experienced with those outside the boundaries of this campus.
That is what Rachel Sauls has done with her first graders, and that is what so many of our members do on a regular basis from week to week. When we deliberately share what has moved us, strengthened us, comforted us and given us hope, with those God has placed before us, we soon realize a profound truth: there, too, is holy ground.
So here’s to Rachel!
Here’s to 1st graders!
Here’s to any and all who hear good news and refuse to keep it to themselves!
Have I told you lately how much I love being your Pastor?
Well, I do.
Dr. Shaun King
Johns Creek Baptist Church