Hope is a concept that little kids can't describe. They just have it. They know that their birthday will come. They believe that you will keep your promises. They wait for the new adventure just over the horizion.
Our first story for missions week, Butterflies Under Our Hats, was written by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso and delightfully illustrated by Joani Keller Rothenberg. Based on a Jewish folktale about the town of Chelm, Poland, it recounts the town's loss of luck and, with the help of butterflies, their discovery that hope was better anyway.
I debated about using this book. The pictures are cheerful and bright and the story is charmingly told. The message of the book is that life is better if we just have hope. And that is true. Very true. But, hope must have an object. Hope in hope alone is futile.
I decided to go ahead and use the story as a launching pad to talk to the children about the need that we and the Polish people have to know the Living Hope. Not butterfly dust left under hats - colorful as they might be. We gazed at the pictures and talked about real butterflies -- creeping creatures transformed to beauty in flight. We talked about how the Schick family was going to Poland to tell the people about Hope that is for real. Hope built on the Word of the One who never fails. Hope that anchors our soul.
So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Heb 6:17-20 ESV