Jesus said, let the little children come to me, for of such is the kingdom of God. And on Palm Sunday when Jesus rode into Jerusalem and the children were cheering as He drove out those who bought and sold in the temple and the priests objected, Jesus said, have you never read that God has ordained strength out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants.
We do have child care rooms available for nursing mothers and parents who need to teach and train their young children, but we always want to make it clear that all children are most welcome here. Not only that, but we believe that their praises are most necessary and needed. The praises of children – their voices, their hands raised, their amens – sometimes several beats after ours, are mighty. God has ordained strength in them, to silence the enemy and the avenger.
We live in a world, in a culture, that has determined to silence the voice of children. We have done our own silencing in the church by sending them out of our services. We have silenced their voices slowly by sending them to schools that teach them not to worship the Triune God. And many millions have been silenced before they even took their first breath. And all of this has happened in a nation in which half or more of its population claims the name of Jesus. Because we have done this, God has silenced our voice. The American evangelical church has been largely struck dumb. We have nothing to say, and when we do say anything it’s full of froth and no one cares.
None of this is based on a misplaced romanticism. Children are sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, sinners in need of grace, and if left to themselves, full of folly and rebellion. But when parents cling to the promises of God in humble reliance on His grace, and patiently correct and teach their children, God blesses and a mighty army arises.
Children, received with trembling, joyful faith, are the reward of God, arrows in the hand of mighty warriors. So as we gather for worship now, let the little children come. Fathers, let them come. Mothers, let them come. Let them come as you teach them, as you encourage them, as you correct them, and as you remember their frames. Bring them to Jesus, so that He might bless them, so that by their praises, God might once again give us a voice, so that He might silence our enemies.