It was a Sunday morning in June when some of the delegates and staff of the Synod of the Christian Reformed Church descended upon churches in the Sioux Center area. I happened to be attending Covenant CRC and was blessed by the worship brought in word and song. However, it was the preparation around the children leaving for Children and Worship that will remain in my memory.
Like many churches Covenant invites their children up front to gather before leaving for Children and Worship. Covenant uses this time to intentionally teach a particular song to the children which is then sung for a season. On this particular Sunday before heading out of the sanctuary these kids led the congregation in singing these words from God, “Don’t be afraid. My love is stronger, my love is stronger than your fear...and I have promised to be always near.” (John L. Bell © 1995 Wild Goose Resource Group, Iona Community, Scotland, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent).
What a powerful text to give to children who at this point in life may be fearing the monster under their bed but as they get older will run across monsters and fears that are all too real. It is a simple enough song and one that through repeated use can etch its way into the soul to be called forth by the Spirit many years down the road. It is a gift to those children and the community who learns this song with them. It is a formative song, it is truth, it is comfort.