Luke 18:16 – But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
For almost two years now, I have been involved with a team ministry on the outskirts of Victoria BC, starting a new Presbyterian congregation. As we have been taking steps towards constituting the congregation, it became very evident to me that the children needed to be a part of this service. The children decided that they wanted to present a time capsule since they are the first Sunday School class at this new church and they wanted it to be opened in 2008 (in ten years time). So as we spoke with the Sunday School teachers about what should go in the time capsule, I suggested that they ask the children to write down some of their ideas about what a church is. If you have ever been around children, you will know that they come up with some amazing ideas and these children are no exception!
The children at West Shore see the church as a wonderful place to be. They see people praising God and people being friends. They see it as a safe place because people who come to church don't believe in harming people. They see it as a loving place, a place to meet people and a place where everyone is welcome – people who have not as much as us are always welcome at our church! And one little girl who has been worshipping with her grandparents at one of the larger churches has said, "but they need me at West Shore". She wrote, "church is pereshuse (precious), it is a safe place to be and I am important to the church!
I think we can often become like the disciples were with the children when they came to see Jesus. We may not take the time to be with or to listen to the children. But when we do, we will see that they really are a precious gift given to us from God. May each of us take the time to listen to the children and may the children always know how important and precious they are to the church!
Prayer: Loving God, we thank you for the precious gift of children in our churches. Help us to listen and learn from them. Help us to create a place for them that they will always feel welcome and safe in Your arms. Amen.