If I give the best Sunday school lesson but have no love for the kids in my class, I am as useful as a white noise machine.
If I create the perfect PowerPoint presentation, if I have all the right activities, and if my craft is completely Pinterest-worthy, but my kids don’t know I love them, I am just a post-Liturgy babysitter.
If I know all the right words to say at the closing prayer, if I get along splendidly with the other servants, if I slave all Saturday night to put the final touches on my exquisitely-worded lecture, but the kids don’t know they can trust me with their hopes and doubts, I am nothing.
A Sunday school servant is patient. She’s not worried about her status among the other servants. She models respect in the way she treats the children.
A Sunday school servant doesn’t play favorites. He assumes the best about the kids’ motives and intentions. He avoids saying, “I told you so” but pats a back while a kid cries.
A Sunday school servant endures the chatty Pattys, the screen suckers, the eye-rollers, and the run-aways.
A Sunday school servant believes in the potential of each child to become a fully realized member of the Body of Christ.
A Sunday school servant trusts his or her own weakness to the strength of the Lord.
For some kids might walk away from the church; some might be ordained bishops. The details of today’s lesson may be forgotten, and the craft will be tossed in the trash.
But the love of Christ is perfect and a child who is planted firmly in it will bloom in his or her own time.
For now we see hyper little urchins, but Christ sees the beloved servants of the next generation. Now, we know they can’t sit still, but Christ knows their faith will make demons quake.
With faith, hope, and love–but mostly love–the seeds watered will bear ripe fruit nourishing the soul of the Church for millennia.
Sometimes, after a particularly difficult class, we really need a reminder of that.