RENEWING GOD’S HOUSE TOGETHER THROUGH GROWING AND LEARNING: Luke 18:16 -17 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Growing: I had Grandparents who picked up 11 grandchildren every Sunday, from 3 parts of town to take us to the Southside Church of God on Stanley Street in the south end of Peoria. We had a Northside Church of God four blocks from our home and closer still for the other grandchildren. Grandma’s reason was that her father helped build that church and by golly that’s where we would attend. In her purse was 11 notebooks, 11 pencils and 11 sticks of gum. We dare not share a word or a giggle, if we tried, “THE LOOK” said it all.
Eventually, one by one would decide they would stop going to church, usually as we were getting ready for high school, like so many others do. None of our parents, unfortunately, were supportive of our sweet Grandparents efforts to bring Jesus into our lives. It didn’t stop Grandma and Grandpa from talking to us every chance they had to recite scriptures and talk about the stories of God’s love for us.
Learning: As a young adult, some of my siblings, cousins, and I would attend Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter services. This always made our Grandparents very happy and yet sad at the same time. Then when my sister’s children were 3 and 4 years old and mine only 16 months old, we started talking about how it was our duty as their parents to bring God into their lives. But where would we find the right church family. It was an unforgettable journey. We attended several churches, many different denominations. We walked into Salem Lutheran Church, listened to Pastor Larson and when he said, “If you have children in the nursery, go get them for Communion for a blessing.” We looked at one another and she said, “I think we just found our church home, agree?” YES!
Lord God, As those who love children, we need to remind ourselves that children look to us as those who LOVE THEM, PROTECT THEM, PROVIDE FOR THEM, AND THOSE WHO MODEL FOR THEM-HOW TO DAILY LIVE IN THIS WORLD. Children WILL copy what we MODEL for them as they grow and learn. Amen.
Salem Lutheran Church affiliated with the E.L.C.A. Salem is a vibrant welcoming Lutheran community that, through the grace of Jesus Christ, is connected within by love and reaching out in hope to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with one another, the community and the world.
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