Ministry of the Child
Ann Hammond

Everyone who heard it was amazed at what the shepherds told them.

Luke 2:18

We can learn so very much from the ministry of children.  As part of our church Advent season, we have had a “Live Nativity” for forty-five years.  When my now-grown children were young, the “Live Nativity” was always a special event they eagerly awaited.  When they were old enough, even as preschoolers, Laura was excited to be an angel and Adam was thrilled to be a little shepherd.  Sometimes children, even as little shepherds, can teach more with their actions than with any words they might say.  This was the case with the young shepherd, Adam.

The adults and children were dressed as shepherds and were keeping the sheep close on the hillside near our Activities Building.  Finally, the scriptures and carols shared let them know that it was time for the shepherds to travel over to the stable to see the newborn, Baby Jesus.  They all walked slowly, as directed, toward the stable at first.  However, as they got near the stable, little shepherd Adam ran ahead and went right into the stable and up to the manger.  With a look of awe on his face and with gentleness and love, my little shepherd reached in and touched the Baby Jesus.  He was completely caught up in the moment and truly felt a part of experiencing the arrival of the greatest gift that God ever gave us.  I have never forgotten that moment because as a child, Adam as a little shepherd, taught us with his actions that Jesus is worthy of our awe and love each and every day. 

My favorite Christmas carol is “In the Bleak Midwinter,” and its last verse is the reason.  We sing, “What can I give Him, poor as I am?  If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.  If I were a Wiseman, I would do my part.  Yet, what I can I give Him, give my heart.”  In his own childlike way, Adam, as a little shepherd, was teaching just that with his actions.  Blessed are we all by the ministry of the child.