Thoughts for the Day

Wednesday, 5th July 2023: Little children

Luke 18 Faith Children of God Jesus Worship

Reading : Verses from Luke, Chapter 18

Jesus and children

People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


I was brought up to accept adult services as the norm in church, and the one time I attended a Sunday School I disliked it. I loved the beauty and grandeur of the words and music in the parish church. But I was fed daily by a Christian mother and her repertoire of mission choruses and hymns, and a godmother who nurtured my understanding of theology and who sang in the church choir.

In my years as a Diocesan Children's and RE Adviser though, I kept coming across today's bible reading as churches redefined their worship with children. So what does Jesus mean "Let the children come to me!"? Well, children like adults, are attracted to Jesus in different ways, but often through the adults they meet. A Church that has ritual and symbol will attract them, as will one that is charismatic with joyful worship, but it will be the example of other Christians that will often have the greatest effect. However, children, like new adult Christians, need to be drawn into our worship as active participants. They should be equal members in our worship - in the planning, and in the 'performance'.

Jesus said we should all be like children. They receive the good news of the Kingdom openly and honestly; they drink in new ideas and thoughts; their life is based on trust; they understand obedience; they have an amazing propensity to forgive others (especially their parents); and they have not lost their sense of wonder. All too often we adults have lost all this and lost sight of what God's Kingdom offers to us His children.


may we approach You
openly and honestly this day
trusting You as a child may trust an earthly father.
May we stand with awe and wonder before You,
open to all that You can teach us.
Help us to reflect on the work with children
in our own church
and not neglect to engage with them,
and to look to their spiritual well-being.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to read this article from The Church Times in 2021 about children in church - you don't have to subscribe!

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