Jesus took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
Mark 9:36–37, ESV
One of the hardest things I have had to deal with as a pastor and a father is the rejection of my children in the church. Sadly, not every one of the faith is receptive to children. I remember once being told by parishioners that they found my children to be annoying and disruptive. It broke my heart as a father, and thankfully, it has been a long time since I had to deal with such issues, but I know of others who have felt the same. The mindset that children are better seen but not heard is more common in churches than it truly should be, and I don’t believe that it is anything new. It was not very different in the time of Jesus, and that, I believe, is why he did this. Throughout history, children have been seen as less than people of faith. Our God, however, calls us to protect our children and do all we can to ensure that they know the love of God and grow to have Him in the center of their lives. The children are not just the future of our faith; they are meant to be seen as partners in the faith from the moment they are baptized. They are image bearers just as we all are and are meant to know the safety and security only our Father in Heaven can bring. In this light, we are to see ourselves. Ever as children of God.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.