Donkeys and angels – 20 years later

origin_319344758 copyAt our prayer meeting on Wednesday, we were praying, among other things, for our kids’ nativity which is happening this coming Sunday. Someone prayed to God: “Father, please grow Your church through the lives of these children”.

Perhaps you wonder how on earth that could happen. I mean, we’ve all seen nativity plays before, right? Usually, Joseph is picking his nose; the angel is more interested in waving at her granny than sharing good news of great joy; and one of the sheep is trying to steal the baby Jesus.

Well, I’m sure that God uses these times in more varied and wonderful ways than we could ever imagine. Some of that will happen this Sunday, for sure. Would you pray that, in and through all the marvellous mayhem, God will bless and speak to many people through the children this Sunday?

But perhaps God’s work of growing His church through these kids will continue on for decades to come.

As that prayer was prayed on Wednesday, it immediately struck me that three of those joining in prayer that morning had themselves taken part in the Christmas nativity plays of the church many years before.

Jo might have played Mary; perhaps Craig got to be a shepherd; I’m sure Scott was a donkey – but here they now sat, maybe 10 years later (or a few more than that in Scott’s case) – one of them a pastor, all of them choosing to give God their time to be used in ministry in His church.

I am so grateful for my fellow pastor in Scott, and for the way God is using Jo and Craig as brilliant parts of our little staff/intern team at Hillview. I wonder, as they fluffed their nativity lines and looked disinterested in the songs, whether anyone guessed God would be using them in these beautiful ways so many years later.

And I wonder which of our children who take to the stage on Sunday will be future pastors at the church? Or future interns at the church? What a thought!

Whether pastors or interns, or indeed, however God guides them as they grow up – teachers, store assistants, nurses, council labourers, doctors, parents, cleaners, engineers, etc. – let’s start praying now, as we prayed on Wednesday: “Father God, please grow Your church through the lives of these children.”


photo credit: The Spacebase via photopin cc