Mark 10:13-16 (NRSV)

13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.   

Matthew 21:16 (NRSV)

16 and said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise for yourself’?”   

DEVOTION -Elenka Angelova (Ruse, Bulgaria)

One night as we were going to sleep, I heard my young grandson singing in his two-year-old way one of the most difficult church hymns.  Just by being present in worship, he had learned this hymn and made it part of his life.

young children often get restless during worship.  When this happens with my grandchildren, I usually take them out of the service.  I worry about their disturbing others.  But Jesus said to let the little children come to him and not to stop them.  These words convince me that welcoming children to worship and into the family of the church is more important than hurrying them out when they squirm or make a little noise.

I know that in the world outside the church, my grandchildren will encounter many distractions that will draw their attention away from God.  That’s why I feel that bringing them to God through the worship and fellowship of the church is an essential responsibility.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: How does my church welcome and nurture its children?

PRAYER: Dear God, help us to remember and take seriously our responsibility to help the children in our lives grow up knowing you and your son, Jesus.  Amen.