TheLittlestPrincess and I were listening to Close Your Eyes So You Can See by Michael Card this morning since we had to stay home from church due to the flu. I'm trying to remember to play the children's tapes we listened to when the older kids were young because I can still see the benefit to their souls from listening to spiritually uplifting lyrics and I want my younger ones to have the same foundation. I can't tell you how often my teenagers break into song from one of the Donut Man's or Steve Green's Hide Em In Your Heart albums when they hear a verse that brings a song to memory. Just this week AdventureQueen, while preparing for her training class at the crisis pregnancy center, started singing Steve Green's You Knit Me Together In My Mother's Womb when she came across the Bible verse in her notes.
One song that we listened to this morning brought to my mind the modern practice of segregating children into their own watered-down Sunday school classes or worse yet Children's Church. One woman recently wrote to me about a church they had visited and found printed in the bulletin:
"The church services are designed for adults. Children are asked to join in the children's program. You may keep your children with you, but if they become restless, we ask that you immediately bring them to the lobby."
This grieved my heart so much!! And so many people don't think a thing of it. The children progress through the ranks and it all culminates with the Youth Group. Being sent away is normal to the children. Then parents wonder why their children's hearts are so far from them. When you've outgrown the youth group there are singles groups, young married groups, 30-something's, 40-somethings and on and on. I see this as a progression of the public age-segregated school system most of us grew up in. When will we learn that we all need each other????
I was not raised in Children's Church. All seven of my siblings were expected to sit quietly through sometimes long meetings. The younger ones were allowed to bring little toys to play with and, for the very young, even a little snack. Sitting on the floor respectfully playing was just a part of life. Even though as a child I didn't always understand everything, I did understand the Spirit. Now all seven of my children have grown up the same way. Our pastor is not always easy to comprehend. Some adults come away from Sunday mornings feeling like they haven't grasped it all. My older children are grateful that it is not difficult for them. They have grown up with meat and potatoes preaching. They often are astounded at the lack of depth of the sermons of other churches we have attended while visiting friends or family. The sad thing is that our society is plagued with the underestimating of children. The schools are not the only place where they are being dumbed down.
To use a popular Christian phrase, WHAT WOULD JESUS DO??? Well, if we read our Bibles, we will know the answer to that question. There is a story that tells exactly what He did do. And here's the song, Let the Children Come, that Michael Card wrote about just this subject:
Jesus looked so weary
From the worries of the day
But the look on His face lightened
When the children came His way
Before He could reach out to them
and join them in their play
His grown-up band of followers
Told the kids to go away
Let the children come
Don't dare drive them away
In them the kingdom comes
Hear the holy, foolish things they say
The spring time of their life decides
The adults they'll become
So please let the children come
Please let the children come
The golden gift of childhood
Lasts a lifetime if we try
The simple trusting faith they own
Keeps scholars mystified
And so the Lord adopts us
As His daughters and His sons
For the Kingdom is for children
So please let the children come