Children, as we gather for worship this week, I want to speak specifically to you. Are you three? Are you six? Are you twelve? Are you sixteen? I want to speak to all of you.
First, I want to remind you that you are most welcome here. Jesus said, let the little children come to me, for of such is the Kingdom of God. Worship is not just for adults. It’s for children too.
Second, I want to encourage you to participate with us. Sing all the songs you know, try to follow along in the bulletin if you can read, say ‘amen’ with us at the end of the prayers and hymns. The Bible teaches that God has determined to silence our enemies by the praises of young children. Do not think you are not important. You are not only welcome, but we need your voices to join with ours in this fight.
Third, remember that throughout the Bible, you are called upon the obey your parents, to honor your father and mother, that it may go well with you in the land (Eph. 6:1-3). Do you want it to go well with you at school, when you’re riding your bike, when you are playing with friends, when you grow up? God says obey your parents, honor them. How do you do that? Obeying them means doing what they’ve instructed you to do, right away, all the way, and cheerfully. If you wait and do one more thing before obeying, you are not obeying. If you start to do what they’ve asked you to do, and don’t finish, you are not obeying. And if you fuss and whine and roll your eyes and mutter under your breath or complain in your heart while doing what they’ve asked you to do, you are not obeying, and you’re certainly not honoring them.
God has instructed your parents to teach you to obey them. When they teach you and discipline you to obey them, they are simply obeying God. So do not make this more difficult for them than it already is, and when you have sinned and disobeyed or dishonored them, take their discipline cheerfully. Remember, that what they are doing is making sure that things will go well for you.
And finally, if you know you haven’t been obeying and honoring your parents well, take the moment of silence after our prayer of confession and tell God what you’ve done and ask Him to forgive you and make you clean and give you strength to obey. And then at the first opportunity tell your parents too and ask their forgiveness as well.