Text: Mark 10:2-16 Preached at St Faith’s Lee -on-the-Solent
Jesus says “Let the Children come to me”
Only two places in Scripture where Jesus is angry: really, really angry
- Cleansing of the temple
- This episode with the children
- There are times when Anger is not sinful
- Righteous Anger is not a sin
- It is right to be angry about Oppression, Injustice, Intolerance
- Temple makes Christ Angry about putting money before God
- Children makes Christ Angry about putting layers of faux sophistication between ourselves and God
Youth Ministry vital, essential even at St. Thomas the Apostle, Elson
- Friday’s Youth Club – 50 young people in open youth work: sofas and playstations, fun, games and the first presentation of the Gospel to the unchurched.
- Sunday’s Youth Club – 7 or so older teenagers: discipleship, bible study (confirmation), twister and pizza
- are not the Church of Tomorro
- are the Church of Today – we all are part of the body of Christ
- Children and young people have a profound spirituality which we patronize at our peril
“Grow-up” my Mother always used to say to me, “Grow-up” says my Wife; “Grow-up”. And yet when we are called to be in the presence of God, we must not “Grow up”, we must be childlike.
Adults build layers of cynicism, of sophistication, of theology which act as barriers between us and God. Christ calls us to be childlike before God: to be open and direct towards the person who knows us best.
If we have children, you will know of that time when you know that they are hiding something from you. God, our heavenly father, knows so much more.
Christ blessed Children
- and you should too – children in your midst, children in your wider community
- Children are not scapegoats or pariahs, not to be resented or sidelined
- But embraced and blessed
So what can you do? How can you stand against the tide and the trend of the loss of children in our churches (which we are as confronted with as you are)?
- Invest – it’s costly, it’s tiring and you will not see the benefit, but you have to lay the seeds of faith
- Invest in the work of Simon Dando, your Youth Minister (and if you don’t know of what he does, then you should make yourself aware and make reparation)
- Support – in PCC and in Church
- Ensure that your children’s ministers are blessed, supported, trained and resourced
- Cast aside your grown-up aspirations for church and BE the people of God, adults and children together – gathered around the Holy Word of God, the Blessed Sacrament and the Precious Blood
All Age Worship so often is an excuse for a patronizing romp through a non-eucharistic hymn sandwich which speaks to no-one and annoys all.
- If each and every one of your Eucharists (‘Masses’) does not speak to All Ages, then clearly you need to think again
- If you are drawn to do anything “for the children” then you need to STOP and consider whether you are patronizing them like the disciples patronized children and think again
Children are the Church of Today. We are the body of Christ. We do not function as a complete body without them. We are all one in Christ.