Pastor Kenny Stokes has been serving as pastor for preaching during Pastor John’s leave. I appreciate what God has done through Pastor Kenny during these months.
On Saturday, he did two very important things for those of us living with disability in our families:
1. As he welcomed the parents and children being dedicated* to the front of the church, he directly stated that children, ALL children, are gifts, and then he specifically named several different kinds of disabilities.
2. One young couple was dedicating their second child. As Pastor Kenny approached them he reminded the congregation, with great emotion, that their oldest child had died this past year.
Small reminders like this are cumulative. People were reminded that we don’t hide suffering and loss at Bethlehem. Over time, the idea of all children being gifts, including the ones with disabilities and the ones who die so young, is part of the air we breathe in that church. I was deeply moved and very grateful.
I greatly appreciated how naturally Pastor Kenny approached both of these issues. On the one hand, disability is a ‘big deal’ and deserves specific and special attention. On the other hand, disability surrounds us, and it is very helpful that he took advantage of these natural opportunities to state truth about all children being gifts and to remind us that families bear extraordinary burdens.
Thank you, Pastor Kenny, for helping people see a little glimpse of both disability and suffering this past Saturday. Thank you for pointing us to God in all things.
*You can click here if you would like more information on what it means to have a child dedicated at Bethlehem.