Our focus Bible story for this Sunday is Isaiah 49:1–7. We read from the first part of this book during the first two weeks of Advent. The books in the Hebrew scriptures beginning with Isaiah and ending with Malachi are called the books of the prophets. A prophet is someone who delivers God’s messages to the people. These messages might be speeches, dreams, visions, or life experiences. The chapter from which we will read at Faithworks talks about a time when the people of Judah were living in exile in Babylon, far away from their home. They were discouraged and wondered if they would ever return home. Cyrus of Persia is now ruling over the Babylonian empire. He seems more tolerant of other religions. The Hebrew people begin to see a twinkle of hope after long years away from Judah and Jerusalem. The servant here is the prophet, or perhaps Israel itself, called to spend their strength for the important task of doing God’s will. God promises to do even greater works. Not only Israel will be restored and the captives brought back, but the nation will become a light to all nations. The prophet describes his vocation – God knew him before his birth and has given him powerful words to proclaim God’s message but there is a point when the prophet feels vulnerable, fearful, uncertain of the task God wants him to do.

Younger children in our group are discovering who they are, where their gifts and abilities lie, and where they fit into their world. They are noticing what they are good at and they have a sense of what they enjoy doing and taking on new roles and responsibilities.

Older children, on the other hand, are often asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Their voices are still dominated by family culture, media, friends, teachers, coaches, and other significant adults. This session provides an opportunity for all children to listen intentionally for God’s voice and to explore what God might be inviting them to do with their lives.

At our time together they will have an opportunity to consider how they can use their gifts to be all that they are. They may feel vulnerable, fearful and uncertain about their future in a scary world but vulnerability is also a source of love, belonging, joy, trust, empathy, creativity, innovation. The story of Isaiah’s call, like the story of Jesus’ baptism last week, provides an opportunity to affirm again God’s call and God’s love in their lives. We are named as members of the Body of Christ in baptism. What does it mean to be called and named by God? How do we identify and confirm that call to be all we are and can be? Please pray that our young people will experience God’s unconditional love as they explore the invitation to use their gifts to spread God’s light and love in the world they are called to live.

All children and youth are welcome to join us for Bible story time and activities on the 2nd floor after the time of conversation with the pastor in worship. Childcare is available for children 4 and under on the 2nd floor as well.