When God speaks, great things happen. Nothing impure ever comes from his lips. The universe is astonishing and it came into existence with his voice. Life comes from God. Not only does he give life, but he also cares about lives. Toby Mac has a great song called Speak Life. Each day we have God’s creative potential to speak life into the world. What will you create this week with God’s power? How can you forge something new with children?
…See and experience the beauty of God through nature…”
-Ric Ergenbright, photographer
When I consider…the work of your fingers…what is man that you are mindful of him?”
Serving, teaching, raising and leading children using creation is a wonderful experience. Have you ever seen a young child react to new discoveries? The amazement on their face is contagious. Let’s consider how using creation with children can be a powerful reminder of God’s presence and activity in our lives. Let’s do a little life-giving CPR. Create, Pronounce, Recall.
Experience creation with your children. There’s always something to share even if it’s dirt.
- Ask questions such as, “What do you see? No, really. What do you see?” Asking that question again promotes looking at what’s familiar from different angles to really perceive what your child is seeing. Good observation is an important life-skill.
- Use grass, sticks, acorns, flowers, etc. Use everyday materials and make something with them.
- Who needs play dough? (Although that’s an excellent creative tool). Take some dirt, add a bit of water and you have some wonderful mud to mold with.
- You can quickly grab your device and pull up a picture or prepare ahead of time to print off some larger pictures of landscapes, waterways or strange animals.
- Pictures can be used to set the scene of a Bible story or imagine a personal experience.
Let’s declare God’s greatness as we see all around us in his creation. Let’s talk about the life he gives all around us. Let’s speak life into the death we see. What I mean by this is that although God has created an astonishing universe, it is clearly marred by sin. This sin has brought death, suffering, sadness and pain. Kids feel it too. But we can be life-givers as we courageously speak hope into the world.
Do not despair. Whether you have a weekly small group on a Sunday morning or as you wake up with your tired littlest one at home, we have a unique opportunity to push aside the dirt to reveal a flower. We can pull back the curtains to show where there is light.
My front garden has beautiful yellow tulips in it. It’s almost as if they hide when it rains and when it gets dark. Are they afraid? Will they ever open again? Are they withdrawing from adversity? They close as a benefit to themselves. But then they open wide. It can be beneficial to close ourselves from difficulty to protect something valuable. But when we stay closed we miss what we are made for! Just like the tulip opens wide after the darkness or the rain, we don’t despair, but speak life and give life to those around us. Create something uplifting for someone else today.
Do you remember Gandalf riding Shadowfax toward the orc army? His staff raised with beams of light emanating from it? His light pushed back the darkness. That’s you. Your words speak life. Your words bring hope. Your delight is shared. Our God is still creating life today!
Now after you’ve drawn attention to creation, be intentional about what was seen and experienced. Use it to draw attention to the Creator. This highlights a huge difference between popular messages of naturalism and believe-in-youselfism. All power comes from God, not from “within”. All worship is directed towards God and not to ourselves.
I love to use creation when teaching about the Gospel. It’s a fast way to engage with children and you can do two things with it.
- First, explore the wonder of original paradise.
- Second, long for the restoration of original paradise.
The stories of the Bible can all draw us to this focus. There’s this massive gap that we live in between the two paradises. We see this often when discussing the wars, the fights or the hostility towards Jesus Christ. But we see glimpses throughout Scripture that God’s creative power is constantly at work and will one day cause our jaws to drop when we see the new heavens and the new earth.
Just like a little one who discovers something amazing and says, “Do it again!” we can choose to be continually amazed with God’s creative and life-giving power. Don’t let it get old!
Lord, show us your creative power again.
How have you used creation to remind children of the wonders of God?