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A Children’s Carol

Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven (A Children’s Carol)

Jesus, joy of the highest heaven,
Born as a little baby
Under a wondrous star.
Like us, crying he takes His first breath
Held by His mother, helpless
Close to her beating heart.
Jesus, laid in a lowly manger,
Facing a world of dangers,
Come to turn me a stranger
Into a child of God.

Jesus, King of the highest heaven
Learning to take His first steps,
That He might bring us life.
Like us, knowing our smiles and sorrows,
He showed the way to follow,
A way that is true and right.
Jesus, take away every darkness,
Steady my simple footsteps
That I might in your goodness
Live as a child of God.


Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty
Copyright © 2011 Gettymusic; admin by Music Services.


Traditions and Our Children

I have really enjoyed Noël Piper’s book Treasuring God in Our Traditions . As the holidays are fast upon us, I would highly recommend this resource for every family. Noël not only gives great ideas for celebrating “especially” traditions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthdays, but she also discusses the importance “everyday” traditions that help point our children God-ward. Here is an excerpt:

You shall teach [God’s words] to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 11:19)

When I get caught up in the biography of a person I admire, my family hears all about this person for days. Whatever someone says seems to remind me of some  event in her life. So mealtime conversations are filled with stories that flow from my own fascination. As we are filling our hearts and souls with God’s Word, what will be more natural than the same sort of spillover onto our family?

But are we really talking about tradition here? Isn’t this passage about teaching and about God’s Word? Yes, and one of the main features of traditions is repetition. Of course, we wouldn’t say that sitting or walking or lying down or rising up, no matter how frequently they’re repeated, are traditions. But those activities represent the things that we do most often, and they are named as reminders to do the most crucial thing we can do for our children—teach them the words of God. God wants us to remember to see him in the most mundane parts of our lives. And what we see, he wants us to talk about with our children. When that level of significance is added to the ordinary repetitions of life, a tradition is created.

Sitting, walking, lying down, and rising up are so insignificant that we don’t even give them a thought. But I pray that my children will look back at “insignificant” times and ask each other, “Remember trying to catch Mom and Dad before they got up in the morning so we could snuggle with them, and how lots of times Daddy prayed out loud before we all got out of bed?” or “Remember when we asked questions, and somehow the answers always came back to God?”

Things like that don’t just happen. They come first from our own hearts that are tuned in to God. Then they happen because we plan to include our children in the God-air we breathe. Without planning, we’ll practice our Bible memory just once or twice and then no more. We’ll do lots of good things, but only a couple of times. One of the great strengths of good traditions in our lives is the repetition—not something done once, then something else, then another thing altogether, but good things done regularly, dependably, until they become habits.

(Taken from Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noël Piper, © 2003, pages 24-25. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187,

Setting Your Goals Beyond “Something”

Ministry leaders and parents: Here is a word from David Michael reminding us about the importance of being “vision-” oriented rather than activity-oriented.

See the full seminar here.

Families Together in Worship

So it’s another Monday. Maybe this is not the best time for some of you to read about the importance of having children in the corporate worship service. For those of us without little ones, we may have felt annoyed by the squirming and noisy child sitting behind us yesterday—”Can’t those parents get a handle on their kid?!” Or you might be one of those exhausted parents who spent the entire service trying to keep your cool while your kids seemed intent on public mayhem! You might be thinking, “Give me children’s church, or give me death!”

So it begs the question: Do we really want to encourage children to attend the corporate worship service with their parents? Wouldn’t everyone be happier if the children could “go away” to their own little age-appropriate church service?

Last year in a post titled “Children in Worship—Lets Bring it Back,” Jason Helopoulos, guest blogger over at Kevin DeYoung’s blog gave six good reasons why children should be encouraged to attend corporate worship services:

1. Our children are members of the covenant community (the church).

2. Our children will be present in the midst of the means of grace.

3. Our children will be present in the midst of the entire congregation.

4. Our children will be present with their parents.

5. Our children will witness their parents worshipping.

6. Our children will learn the rhythms of church life.

You can read the whole article here, plus his follow-up post, “Children in Worship–Mom Tested Tips.”

Another helpful resource is John and Noel Piper’s article “The Family: Together in God’s Presence.”

Coming to the CDG national conference in May? Consider attending Pastor Bud Burk’s new seminar “The Generations in the Worship Service.” This seminar is designed to cast a vision for the importance of children and adults participating together in corporate worship. It will also provide you with practical application to teach families how to engage together in all elements of the worship service.

Also, remember to enter our contest from Friday by this Thursday, March 21st at 11:59pm CST, in order to win one of three ESV Children’s Bibles!

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