“Jingle, giggle, jingle, giggle, jingle, giggle.”  The small circle of one-year-olds excitedly shake their bells and cymbals as we sing.

“Yes!  Jesus loves me!  The Bible tells me so!  Yeah! Praise God!”

“Clap, cheer, clap, cheer, clap, cheer.” We all raise our hands up high and applaud and shout.  The joy that beams from their faces must be from Heaven. I know that they understand that we are praising God and that God loves them.

My heart overflows.

Back in May, God stirred my heart to begin serving in the nursery at my church.  So all summer long I have spent every Sunday morning caring for an amazing group of one-year-olds.  Each week our bond grows closer, and I can see them learning right before my eyes.  This is most evident during our music time.

We have a table with 8 high chairs incorporated that we use for snack time.  The first time that I handed the babies instruments and asked them to sing along with me I received 8 blank stares.  Eventually a couple kids shook the bells, but most of them just treated the bells like lollipops.

However, I kept showing up every week and putting bells in their hands.  Finally this past week as we sang, I noticed that every baby was smiling and making a joyful noise.  And at the end when I gave my jazz hands and shouted praises to God, the babies also raised their hands in delight.  It was beautiful.  The Lord’s message rang out from them, these smallest of disciples!

I went to work in the nursery because I thought they needed me, but I am the one who has benefited so much from working with these babies.  I needed them.  Pure joy!  Praise God!

“The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere.” 1 Thessalonians 1:8 (NIV)