After their Sunday School the Kenyan children join the regular church service. Some of them dance in worship in front of the church while the African beat carries praise to the Lord. When the worship leader senses that the audience is getting restless, especially the kids, rather than dismiss them to their own service, the entire church family forms a holy conga line and they march in rhythm all around the building and even outside. The children run and revel in the joyous celebration as they shout out "Hallelujah" and "Praise the Lord."
At Karen Baptist Church in Webuye, Kenya, about ten children went to the front and one by one they were handed the mike. Some of the kids sang or recited an original poem expressing their love for the Lord, but the most frequent gift they gave their church family was the recitation of memorized Scripture. Let me give you a feel for how they did this.
A boy of about ten steps to the front, holds the mike firmly and puts it up to his mouth, "Praise the Lord! (Wish you could hear the Kenyan accent.) My name is Timothy Nyaranga. I have verse for you. 'I can do all things through him who strengthens me.' Philippians chapter four verse thirteen." He smiles and everyone cheers.
Our Kenyan family of believers hasn't forgotten the wisdom in the second section of Psalm 119:9-16 celebrating the gift of God's inspired instructions. Beginning every second line with the letter Beth, the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the psalmist reminds us how the young can keep their way pure and how they can keep from wandering from the Lord's commands. He raises the question and then answers it.
"How can a lad keep his path pure? By keeping His (God's) Word. With all my heart I seek you; don't let me stray from your commands I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9-11
LORD, help us create Sunday morning worship times that actively involve all ages. Help us be like a family where the older folks cheer on the children as they sing and share their gifts. Powerfully move your people to get burdened about raising up a new generation who will internalize and live your Word so that they won't have to be so scarred by disobedience.
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