I am going to paint a rock for God. I think He’ll like it.

The last week of my life has been filled with children. Christmas Eve I was blessed to share a Christmas story with fifty or so kids who joined me on the stage to talk about “superheroes” – my biggest, of course, being Jesus.

I was also surrounded by children in my home – from precious little Mari, to the fabulous Foster five, to the 3-year-old wonder twins, Sam and Jake. Laughter and squeals of delight erupted without warning as we explored decorations, opened gifts, watched movies about Christmas and played with toys on the floor. It was awesome, heart-warming and delightful.

It occurred to me as I observed each of these little blessings that they are still pretty innocent when it comes to the giving and receiving of gifts. This was especially true of the younger ones, as yet relatively untainted by the values of the world, who had no sense of the monetary cost of a gift.

In their world of the moment, an expensive Rolex watch would be of no more value than a plastic Mickey Mouse watch. These children do not spend a lot of time on Amazon trying to impress with the cost or size of their gifts. Instead, having mommy help them paint a rock they found as a gift for daddy would be a source of great joy to them when they excitedly implore daddy to hurry up and open their gift.

Being a parent and watching parents, I am aware that daddy’s heart will be thrilled and filled to the brim when he unwraps his painted rock. Why? Because it has great monetary value? Because it is exactly what he needed? No, he will be moved by the pure, wholehearted, unpretentious expression of love from his child to him.

“Daddy, I painted this rock just for you! Do you like it, daddy?”

“Yes, son, more than you can ever know.”

I am reminded that Jesus once said that until we become like little children – innocent and unpretentious – we will not understand the wonders of the kingdom of God. And I would like my heart to be focused on pure and wholehearted worship – with my money, my time, my energy – in the year ahead.

So, I am going to paint a rock for God. I think He’ll like it.

Pastor Jim