Worship Companion – July 11 2021

We’re Celebrating New Life at UTMC!

The Temple of the Jews at Shilo. Hannah Presenting the Infant Samuel to the High Priest Eli is a painting by Solomon Alexander Hart

This week we get to welcome four children into the UTMC family through birth and adoption over the past year. God is the author of physical life and the author of family, especially the deep and significant bond of spiritual family. 
In the painting above we see Hannah presenting little Samuel for dedication in the Tent of Meeting at Shiloh, where the Israelites set up camp for the tabernacle upon entering the Promised Land. Hannah was blessed to receive a child after she prayer fervently. We continue to follow Hannah’s example in the ceremony of Child Dedication in our churches today. Of course we don’t leave our children at the church building to grow up there like Hannah did with Samuel, but we commit to raising them in the church, as in, raising them in the community of Faith that Jesus forms and leads. It is a powerful and important action taken on behalf of the child’s parents to express their desire to raise the child for service in the Kingdom of God, and also an expression of the parents’ need for help from the whole community to raise their child up in wisdom and faith.
Anchor Texts:
The Theme in Art:
We’ve already looked at one painting expressing the ancient dedication practice of children from scripture, but I’d like to turn to a very different depiction of discipling children. Here we see a young family, described as slaves in the summary of the painting called “Sunday Morning in Virginia.” The summary simply sates that it is a slave cabin in which the children are being taught to read the Bible on a Sunday morning. While the circumstances around such a painting are heartbreaking, the precious moment taking place in the cabin is pure beauty which carries eternal significance. There is clearly care on the face of the woman sitting by the children. Who is she? Who taught the oldest girl to read? We guess much from the picture, but it is clear that someone has passed on the importance of reading the Bible to these children. The Words of God are to them a source of peace and strength in an incredibly difficult world. We must pass on this hope and strength to those in our care, too.

Title: Sunday Morning in Virginia
Notes: Depicts a family in a slave cabin with children being taught how to read from the Bible
Date: 1877
Artist: Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910

The Theme in Song:
It can be a very tiring thing to pour into the lives of the little ones entrusted to us by God. This song expresses the need I think we all feel to rest in the arms of God as His children. Listen and rest for a moment as you let God prepare your heart for worshiping together on Sunday.

The Worship Companion Blogs are just a bit shorter for several weeks since they’ve been prepared beforehand since I’m taking some vacation time this summer. Thanks so much for making reflecting on the Scriptures and themes for the week part of your spiritual rhythms!

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