Hopetown Highlights #4: 2nd-4th Graders

Do you want to share today?

What if you were the only one?  

(This is something you can do with your children.  Read John 6 out loud first.)

We all know the story.  It’s where Jesus feeds the 5,000.  But we might not remember one very important detail…or, at least, one very important child.  

Jesus was followed by a very large crowd across the Sea of Galilee.  They followed him because they had seen and heard of the miracles he was performing.  They knew he was famous, and they wanted to see him.  When the crowd arrived, Jesus looked out and saw all of the people, and then asked his disciples about food.  “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?”  The disciples panicked.  They didn’t have enough food between them, or enough money.  But Andrew spoke up, “There’s a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish.”  John is the only Gospel that includes this little boy.  But, here he is…bringing what he has and offering it to Jesus.  The only little boy who offered what he had to Jesus.

That little boy was the subject of our 2nd-4th grade camp.  That little boy, actually, and Ruby Bridges.  You might remember Ruby.  

When Ruby was 6, she was the first African-American child to go to an all-white school in New Orleans.  When she was selected to go to this school, her parents weren’t sure what to do, at first.  They didn’t have much money.  But, they loved Ruby.  And they also loved God.  And they wanted Ruby to have the best education possible.  And so Ruby went to a new school.  Every day, four federal marshals walked her to class.  She was the only one in her classroom.  And every day, she’d have to walk past a crowd of white people, yelling, insulting and taunting her.  

On one particular day, her teacher looked out of the window.  Ruby was walking into the building past the people, and her teacher saw her lips moving as they shouted at her.  When she came into class, her teacher asked what she was saying to them.  Her response was, “I wasn’t talking to them.  I was praying.  I pray two blocks before I get to school every day.  I pray, ‘Please God, try to forgive these people.  Because even if they say those bad things, they don’t know what they’re doing.  So you could forgive them, just like you did those folks a long time ago when they said terrible things about you.’”  Ruby Bridges was 6 years old, and she was the only one.  But Ruby Bridges believed God had made her to be somebody.  She believed that she had something to share.

God wants you to share what you have, too.  He’s given you something.  He has made you to be someone who can love, and give, no matter what storms come your way.  (See John 6:16-21).  He wants you to give what you have, and he’ll grow it.  Just like that little boy.  Jesus took his five loaves of bread and two fish, and fed 5,000 people with it.  And he even had more left over.   He’ll do the same with you.  He’ll share the gifts he’s given you.  He’ll bless you, just like he does that bread, and then he’ll send you out on a mission to share.

What do you think God has given you to share?  

Who has he made you to be that could help other people?  

What are the storms in your life that make it hard to share sometimes?  

What could your mission be today?

(All taken from John 6, The Message).