The struggle is real. If you’re a parent who’s tried to bring your little one to church you know the struggle is real. The struggle is real to try to get them to sit still and to be quiet. I think about those times when I was a parent of young ones. How difficult that was as we’d bring them to church and it seems there was only a matter of seconds before they would start shuffling around with the hymnals and Bibles in the pews and messing around with the bulletins. Soon they’re picking on their brothers or making noise. Then it was the hymn and we were thankful that that hymn covered up some of the noise that they were making. But then how are we gonna get through the rest of the service. Give them a snack. Give them another snack that’ll keep them quiet. Another hymn, thank you. But then the sermon. How in the world am I going to keep my kid quiet for 20 minutes straight?
The struggle is real, isn’t it. There are many parents that have wondered if it’s even worth it to bring their kids to church after all how much do the kids get out of the sermon? How much of the parents get out of it, or the others when it’s all about trying to keep them still and keep them quiet?
The temptation can be there for us to keep our kids away from church or maybe if we’re older to wish the kids weren’t there. But how important it is for the children to be there. Think of that very familiar story in the Bible that describes the disciples keeping the kids away from Jesus. Disciples probably thought the kids were such a distraction, they were going to keep the adults from listening to God’s word. And after all what could the kids really get out of Jesus message, but Jesus says this in Matthew Chapter 19.
“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)
On many occasions Jesus pointed to little children as the example for the adults to follow. For us to be like little kids when it comes to our faith. To have childlike faith. To simply believe the truth of God’s Word without questioning it. To trust God. To trust Jesus as our Savior. Jesus tells us that his kingdom, the kingdom of heaven, even belongs to little kids. Even little kids can believe in him as their Savior.
We think of how important it is then to have the little kids in church. How else are they going to know about their Savior Jesus Christ? How else are they going to learn the creed, and to learn the hymns, and to learn the order of service? How else are they going to mature into full grown Christians as they get older? It’s important that those little ones learn from a young age. That they’d be guided. And that we take the time to teach them. To teach them how to sing the songs and speak the responses. To teach them to listen. To have them realize that the church isn’t just for adults, but for them too.
No, it warms my heart every time I hear an older person comment. “Well, Pastor the children were a little bit noisy today, you know I don’t mind. Because it reminds me that this churches isn’t dying. We’re teaching the faith to the next generation.”
And how important that is to teach the faith to the next generation. That even our children know the truth that Jesus is their Savior from sin and through him, they have the certain hope of everlasting life. Amen.