Little Joe and Sunday School

There is a story about a little boy who went to Sunday school for the very first time. Every time I’ve read it, it has touched my heart. The author is unknown, and I don’t know where I picked it up more than 30 years ago. Finally, today, I have an image to illustrate it. Cristina has been working on it, and we’ve talked about it. The story has gripped my heart once more.

I’ve translated it to English and I’d like to share it with you. It’s a lesson for all of us on how we treat those that come through our doors. Cristina tells me that when she and her sister had a Sunday school class for preschool children she would often have to clean them and comb their hair. Many were poor and didn’t care how they sent the children to church.

I pray that God will use this story as a wake-up call. We might not fall into the category of those depicted in the story, but we can pray that what happened to Little Joe might not happen in our churches. May our doors and our arms be open to welcome anybody. May we always have an open heart to embrace even the most needy of the needy!


When Little Joe went to Sunday School for the First Time

It happened on a Sunday when it rained
not so long ago.
The teacher had said:
“We want everyone to come.”
Little Joe went to Sunday school

Little Joe wasn’t dressed for Sunday school.
His hair was messy,
he had buttoned his jacket wrong
and his shoes were muddy.
Nobody had told Little Joe
That he should wash up
before going to Sunday school.
(His parents didn’t care if he went or not.)
Little Joe sneaked into the church;
he was surprised that it was so big.
To the first man he saw, Little Joe said,
“My friend invited me to this place.”
The man was very busy
and he only gave Little Joe a blank stare.
Then Little Joe saw his friend
and ran to tell him he had arrived.
Little Joe had come to Sunday school

The teacher was a very pretty lady
and the classroom was nice and tidy.
Little Joe entered the room smiling,
on his first visit to Sunday school.
Little Joe had muddy shoes
and the mud began to fall to the floor.
The pretty lady was angry with him.
She said that well-behaved children
don’t come to Sunday school with dirty shoes.
Couldn’t he see what a mess
his dirty shoes were causing?
But it was raining that Sunday
when Little Joe went to Sunday school

One of the boys laughed at Little Joe
because his shirt was buttoned wrong.
The other children joined in with him
in making fun of Little Joe
the Sunday morning it rained,
when Little Joe went to Sunday school

Little Joe looked at the boys
and at the pretty lady teacher.
It was like she didn’t care
that the children laughed at Little Joe.
The first one that laughed was the deacon’s son.
Once Little Joe went to Sunday school

Maybe it was his only time?


About kelund

My name is Kerstin Anderas-Lundquist. I was born in Sweden to Per & Brita Anderas, on March 6, 1946. In 1948 we left to begin a missionary life in Chile; in 1956 we moved on to Peru. On May 1, 1969 I married an all-Swedish guy from Karslkrona: Bengt Göran Emanuel Lundquist. God blessed us with two daughters: Eva-Marie Elizabeth and Ruth Carina. We served as missionaries in Peru and Bolivia. In 1988 we moved to the United States to work at Life Publishers in Miami, Florida. I was to assist in developing the line of Sunday School Curriculm in Spanish known as Vida Nueva. I live in Springfield, Missouri, and am retired from work at the Assemblies of God Headquarters. My husband and daughter Eva-Marie have been promoted to Heaven. Carina is married to Thom Cole and they have given me four gourgeous grandchildren, even five (teen-age John). I will be writing about my life, past and present, blended with visions for the future. My deepest desire is to spread the “seed of love”–inspiration to serve God and our neighbors with love and compassion.
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