A Letter to Our Children
Natalie Cooper serves as lead teacher for the Joyful Transformers Sunday school class (our 3rd through 5th graders), Children’s Sunday School Superintendent, and as Children’s Ministry Coordinator on Church Council. Each week she writes to the Joyful Transformers class, and here is an excerpt from her most recent letter, sent last week:
Last Sunday, we talked about Psalm 23. It is a wonderful Psalm written by David — it is only 6 verses, but it is so full of wonderful imagery and meaning — imagery, meaning the visual images that come to mind when you picture in your head what you are reading, and meaning, meaning the message and understanding of the text.
Psalm 23 begins with the words “The Lord is my Shepherd,” so we watched a video on shepherding so that we can better understand what it means to be a shepherd; in that way, we can better understand our Loving God. I can tell you this — I learned that being a shepherd is very hard work! And we learned that a shepherd does the hard work of loving and caring for his flock always, simply because he loves his sheep so very much. We also watched a video story that is someone’s interpretation of what Psalm 23 means to them. It was a poetic story video with paper dolls, imagining what it must be like to be a sheep. Another video included the voices of children reading Psalm 23 and sharing their interpretation of the text, interpretation meaning how these children understand these words written by David so long ago. So here’s the challenge I have for you: I challenge you to try, each and every morning before you even get out of bed, while your mind is still quiet, to softly read Psalm 23 aloud. Imagine it as you read it. Before we even start our day we should know that God is our great Shepherd, always loving us, protecting us, guiding us, encouraging us, walking with us, on happy days, and even in scary or unfamiliar moments. And we can trust that there is no joy, no pain, no emotion that we can feel that Jesus Himself has not felt. Jesus gets us. He understands us. He hears our gladness, our anger, our frustration, and wants to bring us to a place of comfort and peace with him always. He loves us fully forever and ever and ever. What a good, good Shepherd He is indeed! Thank you, God, that I am one of your sheep!
If you forget to read Psalm 23 in the morning, you can still do it whenever you remember. Try to imagine being a sheep in the flock, lying in green pastures; beside cool waters… let the words take your mind on a picture journey. Then you will come to know again and again the perfect, sustaining love of Our Good Shepherd. If you practice this enough, one day you will be able to recite Psalm 23 from your heart. More importantly, you will live each day knowing your belovedness.
Dearest children, I pray that each of you are well and blessed. I pray for peace in your life. I pray that you never forget the perfect love of Our Heavenly Father evident by the sacrifice of Jesus, and that the Holy Spirit will surround you and embrace you. I love you more than there are stars in the sky. I love you more than there are living things in the oceans. I love you as God has made me to love you and call you my dear ones. You, YOU, my darling, are so special to me.