Children, Youth & Family Ministries
During Lent I’ve been reading Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. This week I lingered over the chapter about the “Vulnerability Armory,” i.e., all the things we do to protect ourselves from being vulnerable – and what we can do instead to live more “wholeheartedly.” If you don’t know about this author, I urge you to watch her TED talk.
Brown talks about how vitally important connection and belonging are for a wholehearted life. She says that connection happens when we feel “seen, heard, and valued, [and] can give and receive without judgment.” Belonging is “the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us.” From this, Brown offers her insight about spirituality: “[It is] the deeply held belief that we are inextricably connected to one another by a force greater than ourselves – a force grounded in love and compassion. For some of us that’s God…” (p 151)
This weekend during worship we will hear the familiar words of John 3:16. Our children will hear this version: Jesus said, “God loved this world and everything and everyone in it so much that he sent his only son – me – into the world. And everyone who believes in me can live an eternal life. I didn’t come here to put you down, but to raise you up and save you from yourselves.” (John 3:16-17, God’s Word, My Voice translation). For most of us, it’s really hard to grasp not just the enormity of God’s love but also why God offers this amazing gift to us: to save us from ourselves. We have moved so far away from God’s dream for us. All you have to do is turn on the radio or read the news each day to know this. And yet, God persistently loves us, always calling us into deeper and deeper connection with God through Christ – and into deeper and deeper connection with one another, forming the Body of Christ, alive and active in the world today.
In the face of fear, or shame, or isolation, or whatever armor you are lugging around, I hope you can try to remember (as I am doing, too) how very, very much God loves you. God is saving us from ourselves.
~ Becky Taylor, Director of Children’s, Youth & Family Ministries