Blog is Mike Verkaik’s, Oceans Outreach Director, reflections on Christmas program performed by children living in local motel.
“Do you hear what these children are saying?” the teachers of the law asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ” ’ from the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” Matthew 21:16 (NIV)
“Jesus is born, the Savior of the world, Merry Christmas!” Those were the concluding words from our Christmas program at the motel, and our greeting to each of you during this time of celebration.
The past weeks have been difficult ones at the motel. Residents have been evicted, others arrested, a resident trapped in addiction was taken by ambulance to the hospital again and a mother/grandmother, who lived at the motel for almost 3 years, passed away.
However, last Sunday, from the struggles of life three children, portraying angels made the following proclamation, “Glory to God! Glory to God! Glory to God in the highest! “, As they acted out the Christmas story.
In the midst of addictions, deception, ramifications of Covid-19, brokenness and death comes His story, His hope, His plan of salvation from the mouths of children. They are the ones caught up in the wake of lives that are broken, defeated, struggling to break chains of the past, or trying to get through the difficult times we are living in.
“Mary, it’s you. You are going to have a baby, a little boy. You’ll call him Jesus. He is God’s own son, He’s the one, He’s the rescuer!” said Ann, playing Gabriel. Samantha responds, “It is too wonderful, how can it be true?” “Is anything too wonderful for God?” replied Ann. “Whatever God says I will do, I am God’s servant”, ended Samantha.
These were the beautiful words spoken by two young girls looking for hope, for understanding, and identity in a world that has shown them little of their King, their Savior and Lord. Yet, our Father ordains them to boldly proclaim the salvation story to their parents, fellow residents and peers. As they quoted the paraphrased account of Jesus’ birth from the gospel of Luke, I listened to the words, and watched the children overcome their nerves and fear.
Just an hour before the performance I found Sally, one of the angels shouting “Glory to God”, leaning against her dad saying through her tears, “I can’t do it, I don’t want to go up there.” But God sent Brianna, a young girl who loves Jesus, to comfort and encourage her, and she left the arms of her father to proclaim the glory of her Abba Father.
Samantha, who played Mary, a quiet girl, who struggles with speaking to adults or in front of people. How amazing to have her say, “Whatever God says I will do.” After the performance her proud dad put his arm around me, smiled as he said, “I can’t
believe she did that, maybe this is what she needs to give her the confidence to step out of her shell.”
Did you hear it? Did you sense it? Hope, redemption, encouragement and joy. God, coming down and speaking His truth through the voices and lives of children to a community, and a world that is experiencing some difficult times. A church being birthed, standing in the gap, calming fears and insecurities, and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.
*All pictures used with permission.