My past week has been brightened because of children. Last Wednesday our church completed another great Vacation Bible School. We were blessed to touch the lives of 79 children throughout the week, to see their smiling faces, and to tell them about God’s goodness. It was a joy-filled week for which I am thankful.
It is good to be in the presence of children. After all, Jesus said, “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Luke 18:16). He said this on an occasion when his disciples rebuked people for bringing their children and even their infants to be touched by Him. That’s right – Jesus’ disciples were trying to keep children away from Jesus! Maybe they thought he was too important to be bothered by children or too busy dealing with the more complex, grownup issues of life. Jesus used the occasion as a teachable moment, saying, “Let the children comes to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
As much as our children mean to us, they mean even more to God. He has entrusted us for a few short years with the task of showing Him to them. When I scrolled Facebook this morning, I sensed some parents’ sadness of how quickly our children grow – I share those sentiments. Such moments should remind us to make the most of the limited time we have with them.
Jesus said “do not hinder” the children from coming to Him. The children’s natural desire was to be drawn towards Jesus. It was the adults who got in the way.
Just like those children two thousand years ago, children today need parents and adults in their lives who bring them to Jesus. They need to see in us a love and commitment to Jesus. They need to witness how faith and hope guide our lives. They need to be connected to Jesus’ body – his church – and see it alive and active in their lives. They need to know that serving Jesus does not make life perfect, but it does give life its purpose.
Please join with me today in prayer for our schools, those who serve our schools, and the children who attend them. But please also pray for the children of our churches and communities that they see and know Jesus through us, not in spite of us. May we all be blessed as we bless our children by letting them come to Jesus.