When I was 10 years old, I envied one of the boys in our street because he went away to camp for 6 weeks. This was an injustice that needed to be righted. My mother, the most patient of women, endured my talk of ‘wanting to go to camp’ for only so long. To bring things to an end, she told me the sad truth. “He went to a Health Camp,” she said. “That is where they send children because they haven’t been looked after properly.” My Summer Camp image was turned into that of a rural hospital, so I stopped talking about it. The little boy, probably 6 at the time, had become so malnourished that the school nurse had recommended state intervention. He was revived and sent home to continue a life clouded in second-hand smoke, and all that constituted a ‘fast food’ diet in 1971.
On one occasion, Jesus’ disciples had appointed themselves: ‘Men in charge of those who got to be blessed by Jesus.’ Seeing that the line had stretched out, and now included babes-in-arms, they took action by turning them away. This brought forth Jesus’ famous cry: “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Lk.18:16). These parents were doing exactly the right thing by bringing their children, even babies, to be blessed by Jesus. Praise God for churches that actively welcome families with little kids. Congregations that strive to provide Sunday School, starting with a ‘Babies Bible Class,’ are places where Jesus continues to bless each child personally.
Churches getting about this good work are building a godly home full of faith and fulfilment. These spiritual families will bless all that they come into contact with unto eternity.
This demands that we tread lightly, because… Too many of our children return home to continue life clouded in second-hand faith and all that constitutes a spiritual ‘fast food’ diet.