Children, Go Where I Send Thee! A Counting Song for Advent

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As the boys and girls are preparing to present a Christmas pageant in the 11:00 service on December 18th, and as they are hearing the familiar stories again in Godly Play®, they are remembering that this is the beginning of a brand new church year. With the start of another church year come memories of the “good old days” — of Christmases past.  

This year we are revisiting a favorite counting song that makes the singer remember many Bible stories at the same time — CHILDREN, GO WHERE I SEND THEE.  It’s fun to do a YouTube search of this song and hear the many versions that are out there — Peter, Paul & Mary, Johnny Cash, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Kenny Rogers — and the list goes on.  

There are many versions in existence but we have decided to do this version:

Children, go where I send thee, 
How shall I send thee?
I’m gonna send thee ten by ten!

"TEN for the 10 Commandments"

"NINE for the 9 who saw the sign" 
During Advent we remember the many prophets who foretold the Birth of Jesus.  (Some versions say “NINE for the 9 all dressed so fine” and that could represent being clothed with the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5, a list of 9 including 1) Love; 2) Joy; 3) Peace; 4) Patience; 5) Kindness; 6) Goodness; 7) Faithfulness; 8) Gentleness; and 9) Self-Control.)

"EIGHT for the 8 the flood didn’t take"  
1) Noah and his sons 2) Ham, 3) Shem and 4) Japheth. Add their wives and you have a total of 8 humans who survived the Biblical Flood.

"SEVEN for the 7 on their way to heaven"
This refers to the story found in Luke 20 and Matthew 22 of the woman who had seven husbands who died, and the question was asked of Jesus: “Whose wife will she be in the resurrection?”

"SIX for the 6 who couldn’t get fixed" 
This could represent the 6 days of creation.  After the Biblical Fall, all of creation was broken and looking for redemption. 

"FIVE for the 5 who came back alive" 
There are many people in scripture who came back from the dead. Here are 5 of them:  1) Jairus the synagogue ruler'’s daughter raised from the dead by Jesus; 2) Eutychus, the boy who fell out the window while long-winded Paul preached in Troas  according to Acts 20; 3) the son of the widow of Zarephath who Elijah prayed for in I Kings 17; 4) Lazarus; 5) Jesus.

"FOUR for the 4 who stood at the door"
This stands for the four Gospel writers — 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke and 4) John.

"THREE for the Hebrew children"
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, survivors of King Nebuchandnezzar’s fiery furnace in Babylon, according to the Book of Daniel.

"TWO for Paul and Silas" 
Paul and Silas were early apostles who travelled as missionaries together.

"ONE for the itty bitty baby who was born, born, born in Bethlehem!"


Preparations for the Christmas Pageant are underway, and we invite you to learn this song with us!

Eric Alderfer
Director of Children’s Ministries

Advent: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love - A Way Forward in Difficult Times

The past few weeks since the election have been difficult for most New Yorkers—the result was a shocking surprise and felt like a rebuke to the progressive values so many in this city hold dear: diversity, inclusion, tolerance, and equality, among others.  

And to add insult to injury, those in the progressive Christian community have discovered that a majority of white “Christian” voters supported the candidate who ran an overtly racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic campaign—which are the antithesis of the Christian ethic to love our neighbor as ourselves.

So, where do we go from here? And what can we do to resist what feels like an existential threat to the values we hold most dear?

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