We’ve been working through the book of Revelation for our sermons at church for the past couple of months at got to Rev 21 today. I was on the roster to give the “children’s talk” today – the bit in the service where someone has the children come up to the front of the church and then talks to them about faith and life. So I just had to do some “eschatology for infants”.
I really like the imagery used in the Bible that expresses Creation’s response to God (e.g. Pss 96 & 98). The sheer joy, exhultation, partying and whole-hearted response to the return and presence of God. And I wanted the children to remember that somehow in a way that was fun and had impact.
Then I remembered Jonny Baker’s worship trick 59 – pentecostal ducks with the lemonjelly ducks video. So with the help of the old iBook and the data projector we got psychedelic colours being injected into creation, a bearded dancing man dancing with disco-ing ducks, swinging squirrels, gyrating giraffes and rocking rhinos, and some toe-tapping music. Hopefully they’ll take that image with them through life.
Mixed responses from the adults in the congregation but the kids seemed to get off on it – which was the aim. (I think I’m still treated with some suspicion after a children’s talk when I told them the answers to almost all Sunday School questions were “God”, “Jesus” and “love”. Remember that and they were “sweet”.)
On a more serious note, Psalms like 96 & 98 have this great response in them. But it is a God of justice that creation rejoices to see. Our eschatology sometimes forgets that judgement has an aspect linked to how we have related to Creation, not just to God and other people.