Connie Bull: One tenth of a year is about every 36 days. Welcome to the journey of tithing our time! If we are indeed to bring all the tithes into the storehouse (Mal. 3:10), then we need to include the tithe of our time, for each day is a day the Lord has made (Ps. 118:24). […]
KB Categories Archives: Ancient-Future Children
Connie Bull: Question: How is it that we embrace children professing their faith in Jesus the one who died for them and yet they are not usually included in services where they sing of Christ crucified…or help crush palms into ashes… or where they assist Good Friday in taking away the altar décor and drape […]
Dr. Connie C. Bull:
A blessing is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal, and strengthen. –John O’Donohue, Irish poet & priest (1956-2008)
Will you offer the blessing? We hear this phrase often at mealtime, even perhaps daily. If we pause to consider, though, we realize that blessing is not only connected to meals. Throughout the Bible, blessing is connected to belonging. Our common speech patterns, however, do not imply belonging when we are quick to say “Bless his heart” or “Lord, bless her” when speaking of a personality flaw in someone. Instead, we are covertly lying to hide the disdain we feel under the surface. Thus, we have twisted the biblical meanings what it is to bless; blessings are to be prayers for deliverance and a “made-new worldview” as we bless in Jesus’ name, our Deliverer.
The Old Testament uses nine different meanings of the term “bless” including greeting/leavetaking in peace, prevailing power over enemies, wisdom, prosperity, benediction, transfer of power, respect, praise, and thanksgiving. In the New Testament, Christ embodies these, and blesses into belonging both young and old in His ministry. Jesus’ last earthly act was blessing (Luke 24:51)—a ministry for more than church staff, but rather for all Christ’s followers to continue.
 Claus Westermann, Blessing in the Bible and the Life of the Church, trans. Keith Crim (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1978), 19.
Want to read the rest of Connie’s wonderful work? Please click the “Read More” link below.
Audio Content: AFFN Contributing Member Dr. Connie Bull spoke with Chris Alford about the trend towards intergenerational worship and the increasing ways churches are finding to meaningfully incorporate children into the worshiping body.
Connie C. Bull:
Henri Nouwen reminds us that “person” in English is fashioned from the Latin words “per” and “sonare”— literally, a person is a “sounding through.” Children are persons, though not always in history were they acknowledged so. According to Deut. 29:10-12, God required children to be present to establish His covenant: (10)All of you are standing today in the presence of the LORD your God—your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, (11)together with your children and your wives, and the foreigners living in your camps…(12) You are standing here in order to enter a covenant with the LORD your God…
Worship in Spirit and in truth is about God sounding through all who worship, regardless of age. If we are to cease the worship war and calm the roar of the lions amid our lambs, Isaiah 11:5-7 assures us that “a little child shall lead them.”
How can children lead in the worship elements of the Gathering of God’s people to worship? Let us count the ways! (more…)
Across the years, the ages have had different views of life’s beginning stages. David F. Lancy, professor of world civilizations and cultural anthropology at Utah State University, identifies three of these views of children: cherubs, chattel, and changelings.
- Chattel: the view of those who want children “seen and not heard” because they are little more than a nuisance, devoid of value until after puberty.
- Cherubs: the view of those who overly romanticize childhood; children are to be appreciated from a maudlin, sentimental standpoint; and cherished only for their “cute” factor.
- Changelings: the view of those suspicious of what children are “up to”; children are seen as devious, untrustworthy, mercurial, and almost alien in nature.
There are yet two other views of children in the latter 20th century which are being threaded into today’s various worship tapestries: (more…)