(originally preached by the late Mrs Jan Craven, representative of the Church of England Children's Society, at St George's Church, Coundon, Coventry on 7th December 2003)
St George`s Christingle Luke 9 verses 46-48 7-12-03
“An argument started among the disciples as to who was the greatest” --- what happens when people argue? They get very cross, shout and sadly sometimes they fight!! I`m sure the people reading here haven`t argued – but within us all there is often the feeling that we are the greatest – even here now, in St George`s. I wonder, for instance, which side of the Church here is the greatest … this side? or this side? Have we got 6 children who would be a tug-of-war Team for this side? – and 6 from this side to settle who is the greatest? When I say “GO” pull rope and when hanky passes either this chair or that chair , we`ll decide who the winner is. EVERYONE
Cheer your teams – “GO” Well done both teams!!!!
We`ve had a bit of fun as we fought it out – but Charlotte knew she wasn`t the greatest and she hated arguments and fighting. She was 14 and very clever – but she was found living in a doorway on the streets of Manchester by Children`s Society street workers. Several years before, her Mum had had a huge argument and had fallen out with all the family – including Charlotte`s lovely cuddly Gran.
Charlotte`s Mum moved out to another city; she was always drunk and she moved flats and cities lots of times. Charlotte always missed her Gran and she never got cards or presents because her Gran didn`t know where she was. Charlotte`s Mum used to hit her and argue and shout at her and when Charlotte was 13, she was so unhappy at home, and had no friends at school that she ran away.
She lived wherever she could find shelter - in doorways and car parks of Manchester. A Car Park attendant called the police, who knew that The Children`s Society had people working on the streets, giving children hope and offering safety and listening. The Police came and gave her a card and Charlotte agreed to meet with the Children`s Society workers. She told them that she needed help. She wanted a home – but not with her Mum. The The Children`s Society helped to trace her Gran – and with much help, counselling and support from The Children`s Society, and from Social Services, Charlotte now lives, very happily, with her Gran.
The Children`s Society is a Christian Social Justice Org and last
year we worked with about 50,000 children and families a year.
The Children`s Society works with vulnerable children – on the
streets, in prisons, children of asylum seekers and refugees, those in dire
circumstances and the disabled – giving them a chance for a decent start to
We had a fun tug-of-war …… but
real tug of wars involving children are horrible. Jesus values children
and He put a child in the middle of arguing grown-ups and said “Whoever
welcomes this child in my name, welcomes me, and the one who welcomes me also
welcomes the one who sent me”.
What a promise.
On your behalf, The Children`s
Society welcomes 50,000 children a year in Jesus` name.
To all of you who support by your prayers and money and love and just by being here - - We would like to say Thank you.