Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Watrousville UMC

We spent the weekend up in Michigan near at the Seitz family farm and spent Sunday sharing at Watrousville UMC. Watrousville UMC is a special place to Jennifer because it is the last congregation her grandpa Seitz pastored and the last church in which she heard him preach. The time we spent on the farm and with the people of Watrousville UMC was very enjoyable, but there was one thing that stood out above all. We were speaking in the morning service and, like most congregations, there was a children's sermon before we spoke. The children's minister called the children up front for children's time and they all scurried up front with enthusiasm to hear the lesson she had prepared. The lesson was on how Christians are stronger in community than when they are alone. The illustration was popsicle sticks. She had the two "strongest" kids (a boy and girl) volunteer to break a single popsicle stick which was very easy. Then she had the same kids try to break a bundle of 5 or 6 sticks. They tried hard, but had to give up. The children's minister concluded that just like popsicle sticks are stronger when they are together so are believers. The little boy volunteer was not so convinced. He said in his small but confident voice, "My papaw could break it. I know he could," and he took the bundle and walked all the way to the back corner where his grandpa was sitting to see if he could break it. He couldn't. Still not satisfied he took it to another man near the center aisle. Still it would not break. Thinking surely someone must be able to break this bundle he stopped near the front and tried another person. No luck.
Sometimes we feel like that little boy. We are so focused on the bundle of sticks and finding someone to break them that we miss the lesson we're being taught. The lesson wasn't about breaking sticks; it was about being strong together. We hope that as we have the opportunity to learn many important lessons about God, life and ourselves that we will not be distracted by the sticks.

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