People were bringing children to Jesus so that he would bless them. But the disciples scolded them. When Jesus saw this, he grew angry and said to them, “Allow the children to come to me. Don’t forbid them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people like these children. I assure you that whoever doesn’t welcome God’s kingdom like a child will never enter it.” – Mark 10:13-15
This Sunday, July 15, morning worship at our church was led by the children. Not the youth, but the younger kids who go out for children’s worship – the “His Kids” crowd. They gave us, the grown-ups, a sampling of what they experience every week.
I have to say, I was impressed.
In consequence, “passing the peace” included hugs and high-fives, the songs were very VBS, and the prayers were brief, authentic, and very much to the point.
As was the message. Katherine (our director of Children, Family, & Youth) reminded us of the tremendous privilege and responsibility we have when it comes to raising children in the faith. The fresh young faces – and our church is full with them – come loaded with such amazing potential.
But not just the children who swarm our campus; absolutely every single child born into this multi-faceted, broken world comes fully equipped with imagination, possibility, love, light, and promise. All that from God, and then we fail them in so many ways. They do not know the generous God our children meet here at church, they live in poverty, their teachers are treated with contempt, they drown in open water paddling for safety, they starve while the adults around them war over power, they are used as political pawns, they are treated without compassion.
every single child born into this multi-faceted, broken world comes fully equipped with imagination, possibility, love, light, and promise. All that from God, and then we fail them in so many ways.
We are richly blessed here because this church supports a ministry staff put in place to nurture and encourage children and families because we understand how precious and priceless they are.
These children may have been “Shipwrecked” for Vacation Bible School but the ship ran ashore on the campus of Wake Forest Presbyterian Church, a bona fide sanctuary of a Treasure Island where the children themselves are the trove of doubloons, gold, silver, and jewels.
Sunday morning’s worship service reminded me that there is little we can do that is more important than reaching and growing these children, loving them into the kind of young people who claim faith for themselves and then go out to change this world.
If there is one moment I want you to take the time to follow up it’s the special music (here’s the link, it should be cued up – the special music)
Graham lifted his pure voice to heaven and asked God to listen to the prayers of the children of the world. He is joined by six adult voices and I promise you will cry. Not cry out of sentimentality, but from that deep place that recognizes the critical mission we must embrace to, “Let the children come… do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:13-15).
Amen, Jesus, you preach it…
In love, and because of love – DEREK