You are safe. You are loved. You belong.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on faith development these past few weeks. While there are many models and stages of faith development, this Building Blocks of Faith article by Keely and Keely has captured my attention recently. They propose that in order to grow in faith there are four Building Blocks of Faith: I belong, I understand, I have hope, I am called and equipped.

I wonder if we need to go back one step further. I wonder if the foundation of these building blocks depends upon people knowing, or growing to know, that they safe, loved, and part of community (the second and third levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). Perhaps these days we are feeling less safe, loved and connected.

Today I shared a children’s message based on the Psalms to remind us that no matter how we are feeling, God meets us where we are. For in Christ we find our life, our hope, our strength, and community. The message went something like this:

What do people say when you ask, “How are you?” Usually people say “I’m fine” or “I’m good.” But sometimes when I say I am feeling fine I am actually feeling a lot of things. Maybe I’m feeling a little bit this way (show a large emoji) or this way (show another) or even this way (show another).

When we are feeling something not fine, God is still with us. One of the ways we know that is because the Psalms, the poems found in the center of the Bible, are filled with emotions. There are Psalms for happy times and sad times. Psalms for joyful times and angry times.  We can read the psalms when we feel. Or mixed up. Or not fine at all. I ended by reading Psalm 46 from Delval’s Psalms for Young Children which says that even when the mountains tremble and the waves grow to be giants, God provides a safe place for us.

Tomorrow I will include these Psalms emoji cards which list psalms that speak to particular feelings in our Children’s Ministry Newsletter.

May we who lead ministries and the people we minister with know the shelter, love and embrace of God this week.

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