Every year, around this time I find myself singing one (or more!) “Theme Songs”. These songs are not to be confused with the current Day Camp Theme Song (that has PLENTY of time to get lodged in my brain throughout July and August!) No, these songs reflect whatever direction my constant prayers are headed in.
Those of you who have read the last couple of Posts know that, unlike in recent years when we were praying for more Team Members to join up, this year our major stumbling block is a lack of Host Churches/Communities ready to welcome our Day Camp Teams and Program. ( not that a few more Team wouldn't be welcome as well!)
My second Theme Song is an old-fashioned Hymn which I remember hearing my Mum sing, (I believe as a result of years of attending a very “low-church” Sunday School.) I don’t think I have EVER sung it in church myself but it is really quite lovely, if looked at dispassionately, and sums up the current situation quite neatly. The Hymn is "When Mothers of Salem"
As a visual sort of person I make up mental pictures ALL the time so, at present, the analogy I visualize, while singing this Hymn is of a young single Mum, struggling to make ends meet, with several children. Summer is coming, she would like a bit of a break and she also remembers experiences of attending VBS in the small town where she grew up. She “doesn’t have time” to get to church with any regularity, or maybe never attends but something inside her wants her children to connect with Jesus, to have a friend to hang onto in the storms of life.
And she has been looking on the notice board at the grocery store and on telephone poles, and around the local park, hoping to see a poster for a Bible Camp.
She wants to take her kids to ‘see Jesus”.
Then there is the local church-Numbers are down, the Pastor is only paid for part time, the roof is leaking and all the good people on the Church Council are really worried about current Diocesan policies and church assessments, and squabbles in the choir etc.
Do they have time to organize a Day Camp? probably not. Are they all worn out and ready for a Summer break, probably yes. These people know Jesus and love Him but maybe they just want to sit in Church on Summer Sundays, hear a decent Sermon, say a few prayers and head home for a nap.
They are not intentionally keeping any children from seeing Jesus, but neither are they making him very accessible to anyone outside the doors of their Church building.
So I’m singing my second Theme Song. I’m hoping some people out there are suddenly convicted of a real need to open those church doors, to let in the children, to let in the mess, the noise, and the vitality that comes from connecting with children and to let in one of our Teams of keen young people who have chosen to give 6-weeks of their lives to bring “People of All Ages” closer to our Lord.
And once I’ve finished all that singing, yes I feel invigorated too! I am able to believe that those doors WILL open. After all, miracles still do happen every day, we are just too busy to see them!
So today, as I garden (in the rain), as I bake (for the Team Retreat), as I put the last stripes on the knitted “Tigger” I’ve been labouring over for months, and as I wash windows (yes, the construction work is STILL going on around here!) I’m singing my Theme Songs and I know in my heart that the Battle DOES belong to the Lord!
What better way to fuel all that activity than with a super late Spring breakfast?
Rhubarb Crunch- enjoy!
3/4 cup rolled oats
2/3-cup brown sugar
½ cup melted butter or margarine
1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix until crumbly. Press half these crumbs into a greased 9x9 baking dish.
4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1inch chunks.
Distribute rhubarb, evenly, over crumbs.
In a small saucepan, combine the following: -
2 Tbsps. cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla
Stir well; bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until thick and clear. Our over rhubarb and top with the rest of the crumbs, pressing down, lightly.
Bake in a 350F. oven for approx. 1 hour.
Serve warm or cold topped with plain or vanilla yoghurt. Serves 4-6.