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Ann Farabee: The children

School’s Out! We all recognize it: More children in the mall. More children in the restaurants. More children playing in our yards. And this is just a sampling of all the ‘mores’ that children bring into our lives. You can make your own list, I am sure. And…..we love it! Summertime with the school kids around seems to bring out the excitement in all of us!

Ever given any thought as to how God feels about children? Let’s start with the obvious and best part: God used a child to save the world! That’s worth repeating. God used a child to save the world! Isaiah 9:6 states: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be on his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Now, that’s great stuff!

God calls children a blessing and never a burden. Psalm 127:3 says children are a heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward. And how about Mark 10:13-16, where Jesus said to allow the little children to come to him? He followed that up with letting the adults know that they should have the same childlike faith, and receive the kingdom of God like a child does. And, then what did Jesus do? He took the children in his arms and blessed them.

Another time, at a house in Capernaum, the disciples were busy arguing about who would be the greatest. Jesus responded by taking a child in his arms, and telling them this: Whoever receives one of these children in my name, receives me. Mark 9:33-37

Some other interesting children ‘facts’ from the Bible:

• 1 Samuel 2:18 tells us that Samuel ministered before the Lord as a young child.

• 2 Kings 22:1-2 tells us that Josiah was eight when he began to reign, that he walked in the ways of his father, and that he did what was right in the sight of the Lord.

• Acts 23:16-22 tells us that God used a child to protect Paul.

Children are clearly important to God and to God’s Work. So, no matter what your connection with a child may be- parent, grandparent, teacher, neighbor, pastor, friend, mentor, youth worker (to name a few) you can rest assured that your role in their lives is important. One of the best ways to show love and concern for children is to do what Job did in Chapter 1 Verse 5, which was to pray continually for them. And, for those of us who sometimes worry about our children, here is some encouragement and comfort: In Matthew 18:10, Jesus explains that certain angels who always have direct access to God are watching over the children.

Yes, school is out, and just as quickly, it will be time for back to school preparation. Enjoy these lazy, hazy days of summer. Hold a conversation with a child. Catch some fireflies with them. Talk about what the clouds look like. Water that garden together. Take them in your arms. Remember that Jesus took time for the children, and so should we. Yes, our malls, restaurants, and yards are more full when children are around- and so are our lives.

Enjoy.

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