August Family Talk
In Jesus’ day, one of the lowest, most menial tasks in society was caring for small children. It was considered low-priority, insignificant, and demeaning. If you spent time caring for children, you were considered one of the “least” of people. So, it’s interesting to look at how Jesus responded to His disciples when they argued among themselves about who was the greatest among them. Here’s what Luke tells us:
He took a child and put him by His side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives Him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great.” (Luke 9:47-48)
Now, for some reason we have misinterpreted Jesus’ words and assumed that the “least among you” was represented by the child. But look carefully at what Jesus said. He compared the person who receives the child with the one who is “least among you.” In other words, the one who takes on the lowest, most demeaning task is synonymous with the one who is the “least”…the one who Jesus says is truly “great” in His view.
In any church family there are opportunities to serve. Some positions are very visible and highly respected; others…well, not so much. Interestingly, to this day caring for children during worship services or even teaching them in Sunday School is considered by some to be demeaning work, belittling work…especially by many men. But Jesus tells us in this passage that these workers…these who not only are willing, but who actually are excited to serve in this way, are the ones who are “great.”
Many times we recruit preschool and children’s workers with the thought that we are “shaping the minds of the next generation of church members and leaders” (which we are) or “giving their parents an opportunity to be fed in Bible study and worship” (which we are). But have you ever really read Jesus’ words in Luke 9? When you serve by receiving this child, you are receiving Jesus Himself…and not just Jesus, but also the One who sent Him, God the Father Himself!
Andi Hirsch, our division directors, and I are in the process of preparing to rehab a portion of the Beacon to provide childcare for parents who wish to worship there on Sundays. Right now, parents of preschoolers and children have to leave them in the main building and then go out to the Beacon to worship. Several first-time guests have told me, “We love your church, the worship, the preaching…and when you get childcare facilities in the Beacon, we’ll be back.” How sad! So, as soon as we can create the space, we will expand to two childcare venues: our existing space in the main building, and a second space at the Beacon. Of course, you know what this means: we will need more helpers!
So now, in August, before we get the second venue remodeled and ready, ask yourself, “If Jesus said that the one who receives and cares for children is great in God’s kingdom because they are really receiving Him and His Father, wouldn’t it be one of the greatest honors of my life to offer my help to Andi and help make this expanded ministry a success?” I will be interested to hear…and see by your response…what you think!