Let The Children Come

October 15, 2018
by Joel Jongkind

Psalm 127:3a – Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. (NKJV)

One day, I was looking on YouTube for an anthem that my wife needed to learn for a church service in which she was invited to sing with the choir. While I was listening to it, during a clarinet solo, I heard some small children giggling in the background. Obviously, there were some children in church while the recording was being made.

That reminded me of the summer of 1963 when we were working on a pipeline project in the state of Ohio in the USA. Our house trailer (mobile home) and office trailer were parked on the outskirts of the city of Athens. On the first Sunday when we were there, we went to church. We did not know if they had a place for little children, and no one told us that they did, so we took our four-year-old and two-year-old into church with us. Just to be on the safe side, we sat in the very back pew near an exit door. Our two-year-old tended not always to pay attention, and sure enough, partway into the service, he started to make some noises. I began to feel uncomfortable, and I did not want to disturb the service, but as I was about to get up and take him out of the sanctuary, the minister said words to this effect: "Please stay, sir. There aren't too many children who get a chance to make noise in church."

Well, isn't that the truth! In so many churches, the parents have quit coming to church, or never did, and as a consequence, there are no children either. There are occasions when children are brought and don't behave like we think that they should. Either the parents feel embarrassed and not welcome, or they see nothing wrong with their children's behaviour, and we are distracted.

In Matthew chapter 19, Jesus is talking to people about things which should not be acceptable in society. Because of my time working in Muscat, Oman, where it seemed that very little had changed from biblical times, I can picture the scene in my mind: Jesus sitting on a bench just outside the city wall where the elders meet every day in the shade of a few trees. A number of people are listening to Him and discussing His profound statements. All of a sudden, some more people come through the big gate in the city wall, creating a disruption.

Matthew 19:13 – Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. (NKJV)

The disciples are most unhappy; these people are going to interrupt the discussions which are going so well.

Matthew 19:14 – But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (NKJV)

When parents with little children come to church, let us all welcome them with open arms, for of such is the future of the church.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, it is our sincere hope and prayer that young families with children will be moved to come to worship. We ask that You will enable us to make them feel welcome. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true.


    Amen Joel!


    So true – thank you Joel.


    What a great response from that pastor! We should all have that attitude.


    What a tender presentation of a child’s purpose in the church and our call to nurture them.


    Dear Joel – this is a “Sermon” that many need to hear. Amen. May God continue to bless your ministry.


    What a beautiful, awesome, encouraging message! Thank you So much Pastor Joel, this really lifted my spirit.


    I always enjoy your devotionals but today’s struck a different spot. It reminded me of the days when our children were young. Today it is different but there are fewer children to enjoy.


    Hi Joel,
    Loved your devotional this morning. We are an elderly congregation with no children in regular attendance and on occasion when some little ones arrive it is a delight to hear their little voices reverberate through the service.
    Good to remember the words of Jesus, “let the little children come”.
    Blessings to you,
    (B.C.)


    As I read your devotional the children’s time at the church I often attend came to mind. Everyone, young and old alike seem to rejoice in the children’s presence, even when the littlest ones squirm! They are our future. Let’s welcome them and their families with open arms! It seems to help that our minister has his own youngsters up front with them. My favorite image is at the service’s end when the minister starts down the center aisle towards the door and his youngest leaps from his place in the pew to grab his Dad’s hand and walk out beside him with a look of pure adoration on their faces. That wee one warms our hearts. It’s a visual, unspoken sermon on its own. This church is blessed indeed.


    Hi Joel:
    I was interested in your devotional about children. At our church where I am a member there are a good number of young families with children. I have to confess that I sometimes get annoyed when they are “Noisy”.
    Most families with children sit in the same area of the church – near the front. Children leave for Sunday School after the children’s story. There are sometimes over 20 children at the front for the children’s story. We have a young woman who is the Children & Youth Director, and she is very good with them – has lots of interesting ideas. She is good at drawing people in.
    Blessings.


    Good morning Joel! Thank you for your “Let The Children Come” devotional this morning!! We took our young great grandson to Church yesterday. His parents don’t go to Church and we don’t get many opportunities to take him to Church. But yesterday was a bit different. There was a toddler there and I took him up to where he was sitting with his Mother and made a connection. Our Minister is young and therefore in tune with the “young” but what was different was that one of the ushers came and gave our great grandson a toy to play with when he got fussy.
    Your history, your work in the Nursing Homes, and your inspirational devotions are welcomed, needed, appreciated. Thanks you for your contributions and thanks to the PresbyCan Devotional staff.
    God Bless.


    Greetings and Blessings!
    A simple, but profoundly important message – thank you for sending it!
    Thank you for sending it!


    Joel, you wrote a very compelling encouragement to welcome children. Thank you.

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