Last Sunday, we were blessed to witness the baptisms of Naarah and Yi Han. As I watched the proceedings, I was reminded of God’s grace in adding many young ones to our church family in 2015. God’s Word in Deuteronomy 6:4-7 came to mind at the same time:
4Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Truly, it is our hope and prayer that God will help the parents in Living Praise to teach their children about Him and bring them up in His ways. Yet, we are also reminded of our mission as a church to be partnering with our parents to make disciples of the children in our church family and in KCPPS. The Kids’ Fun Camp that took place last weekend was an encouraging and beautiful picture of our church’s commitment to teach and guide our children. May God continue working through us to further his kingdom in this way. As we offer our prayers and supplications to God, we ask that he would be giving the growth, and rescuing our kids from the dominion of sin and darkness. At the same time, we ask that he would help us to faithfully point them to the One who is the cornerstone of his rescue plan.
As we enter the season of Advent, we remember one special child whom God gave to us. According to the words of Isaiah the prophet:
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
This child is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. As we celebrate his birth, we remember the way he walked, the love and servant-heartedness he modelled, his atoning sacrifice at the cross and his victorious resurrection from the grave. We remember the imperishable and unfading hope of eternal life that we have through faith in him. And as we consider how best to bring up our children as a church family, we remember our Father God’s own words in Mark 9:7 “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
We intellectually affirm that Jesus is God in the flesh. We understand why he had to suffer, die and rise again. Some of us can trot out “Two Ways to Live” with ease. But are we really listening to him from day to day? Are we opening our Bibles daily expecting to encounter Jesus there and feed from his words of eternal life or are we merely contented to draw comfort from pious-sounding platitudes that we have gathered over the years? Is the gospel of grace what we return to each day as the basis for our perseverance in the Christian walk or has it become a set of staid stock phrases that we bandy around only when it’s time for ‘outreach’? If we do not make listening to Jesus a central part of our lives, surely our children will notice and follow suit to their own detriment.
As we stir up one another to do the good work of showing Jesus to our children and encouraging them to listen to him, let us not forget to abide in his Word and delight in the salvation which he has given us.