In the Gospels, both Matthew (19:13-15) and Mark (10:13-16) record the account of parents bringing their children to Jesus. The disciples, concerned about the possibility of a noisy interruption and its effect on a weary Jesus, tried to forbid the parents from coming. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them." He then took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
It is interesting to observe the mutual attraction between children and Jesus. Children were drawn to Jesus and He received them with unconditional acceptance and love. Can you imagine the joy each child must have experienced as they snuggled into the Savior's embrace? Who could ever forget that?
It is sad for me to consider how many children there are who will never know of that unconditional acceptance and love from Jesus. Maybe they live in a country dominated by a religion that refuses to acknowledge who Jesus is and their family has never heard the name of Jesus. Or maybe they live nearby and their family is too busy and/or preoccupied by many things to take time to learn about Jesus.
Last week we conducted a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for children from 3 years to 6th grade. VBS is a fun experience that features food, fun, crafts, stories, music, singing, prizes and more! Many churches have one every summer. We were thrilled to have what appears to be the first one in the 40+ year history of this church. Children from the church ohana and from the community learned new songs, played crazy games, made cookies and slime, wrote out prayer requests and "thankful" leaves for the "Thanksgiving" tree, learned Bible stories and much more. On the first night, 10 children accepted the invitation to have a relationship with God. Wow!
We held a follow-up VBS Celebration service that past Sunday morning. It was exciting to see a number of the VBS kids there, including some for the very first time. What was especially thrilling was seeing the kids on the platform leading the congregation in worship with the songs the learned at VBS, via both lyrics and motions. I could see the joy on their faces as they offered worship to Jesus Christ, the One who loves them more than anyone else ever could.
If you are a parent, I challenge you to introduce your child/ren to Jesus. Read them Bible stories at home. There are many great children's Bibles available. When our children were young, we read out of the Read-n-Grow Picture Bible every night. You can purchase a copy here. It is expensive so it might be out of print. Good news is there is a free online version here. There are a lot of options to experience it. Their website states: Read it online, download a copy, download and listen to the audio, watch the videos (YouTube)... or try them all!"
If you live in the Honolulu area, we would like to be a resource for you. Bring your children with you to Bible Study on Sunday mornings at 9:30am. There are classes for all ages and your child will enjoy getting together with others their own age. On most Sundays, except for the first Sunday of the month, we also offer Kid's Church. While others stay in the main auditorium for the preaching time, the children will go across the hall to have their very own service. All the teachers are dedicated, caring people who love kids and want them to know Jesus.