Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Psalm 145 (Praise God’s faithfulness); Song of Solomon 4:9—5:1 (A love song); Luke 5:33-39 (Christ the bridegroom)
One of the greatest frustrations in church work is the number of people who claim to be followers of Christ and yet they not only don’t attend church themselves, they don’t take their children to church. When asked about it they will say something like, “I want my children to make their own choice about which religion to follow, if any.” While that may seem like an admirable sentiment, in truth, the children get the message from those parents that worshiping God is not important.
The good news of Jesus Christ is more than a “religion to follow.” It is a relationship with Almighty God. In Psalm 145 we are reminded that “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—and I will meditate on your wonderful works.” (vs. 4-5) Make no mistake about it, the gospel is one generation away from extinction. It is the responsibility for each generation to pass down to the next the amazing message of God’s love. Oh sure, some of us are skeptical. I think if we really examined our lives we would see examples of God’s sustaining power. Yes, some children were forced to be in church too much – my own children might agree with that sentiment. The truth is that unless we cultivate the love of God in our children from birth, the message of the gospel will begin withering on the vine. An even greater truth is that we as parents need to cultivate that love for God for our children and not leave it to the church. Speak to your children of the amazing love of God and His mighty acts – show it in your life – and we will see children following Jesus not because they have to, but because they want to.
Oh Lord, I come before you to confess my failings as a parent in showing my own children Your love and grace. I pray for this next generation of children – let them see the joys of following the God of Mercy and Grace. May the message of Jesus Christ continue to make a difference in our world.