Children are Still Children – Thank God!

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photo of the children in front of me who came to the church for camp applications

 

 

This past Thursday at 2 PM, I led a devotional/ worship service for 46 children who attended an overnight camp in Oscoda, Michigan that was sponsored by the Plymouth United Church of Christ, which is where I pastor.

At one point, I sought out some girls and boys who live near my church which is in the inner city of Detroit. These boys and girls had descended upon me one day, late in the day, to pick up applications to attend the free camp.

When I saw these same children at camp I had spoken with a few weeks ago in the reception area of the church, it was quite refreshing to me to be reminded that they and the other kids in attendance are still children. What I mean by this statement is that myself and other adults get older every year, but children are reproduced and recreated as a reminder to the rest of us that life goes on.

The children at our Boys and Girls Overnight Camp are refreshing to see and interact with. Their enthusiasm, creative outlook on life and the world in which we live can be contagious. As I talked with the children about David and Goliath, and what it took for young David to beat Goliath, and challenged them to think of themselves as young “David’s”, I thought to myself that there was nothing in my schedule that even remotely was more significant and worthwhile than spending time encouraging these youths.

I came into the ministry through youth ministry. I am a better, stronger, wiser senior minister because I first worked with young people. I hope I never become so full of myself that I lose patience with children. I have always believed that a vibrant youth ministry is the foundation for the sustainability of the world. Youth ministry is also the foundation for the church. Many of my current lay- leadership persons at the church I pastor, were active in a junior high school youth ministry I led as an undergraduate in college. My point is that it is very important for the church world-wide to provide significant spiritual experiences for youth, because not only will the young save the church, but they will also save the world.

Matthew 18: and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. [1]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What did Jesus see in children that caused him to say that “Unless you become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven…”?
  2. What does it mean to become, “Humble like this child”?

 

Prayer: Lord, make me humble. Lord, grant me a receptive spirit that thirsts for knowledge, and hungers for righteousness. Lord, work with the hardness of my heart. Teach me to forgive. Enlarge my vision, that I might run with the angels, dream above and beyond the mountains, a swim in deep water. Lord, make me humble. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and savior I pray. Amen.

 

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Clinton Griffin

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

More about the ministry, missions prayers and publications of Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Mt 18:3–5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.