Crossroads: Children

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Mark 9:30-37

Your Story

As a child, did someone ever make you feel less important than an adult? What happened? Tell that story to your children.

My Story and the Bible Story

“Children should be seen and not heard.” “Go sit at the kid’s table.” Did you hear things like this when you were a child? Maybe you were taught that you should sit quietly and not interrupt the grownups who were talking. Or maybe you were sent to an entirely different table. Maybe someone made fun of you for asking a question because you didn’t know the answer. Nowadays, childhood tends to be celebrated. We try to let kids be kids as long as they can. We do our best to love their crazy answers and to nurture who they are, not as tiny adults, but as children.

But it wasn’t always this way. Throughout history, children have been seen as “less than” adults. They have at times been treated as unworthy of important things and a waste of time for important people. We know that isn’t true. We know that children are worthy, that they can say important things, and that they deserve love and attention. Jesus felt the same. Read Mark 9:30-37. From The Message:

“Leaving there, they went through Galilee. He didn’t want anyone to know their whereabouts, for he wanted to teach his disciples. He told them, ‘The Son of Man is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God. They will murder him. Three days after his murder, he will rise, alive.’ They didn’t know what he was talking about, but were afraid to ask him about it. They came to Capernaum. When he was safe at home, he asked them, ‘What were you discussing on the road?’ The silence was deafening—they had been arguing with one another over who among them was greatest. He sat down and summoned the Twelve. ‘So you want first place? Then take the last place. Be the servant of all.’ He put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, ‘Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me.’”

In that time, children weren’t important. They were seen as nuisances and the disciples probably ignored them. But Jesus didn’t. Jesus saw the people that others ignored and reminded them that they were important. The disciples were arguing about being first. But Jesus reminded them that it was far more important to help others, to see everyone as child of God, than it was to be the greatest. Jesus didn’t want people who thought they were the greatest. He wanted followers who treated everyone as a child of God: important and loved because of who created them. Jesus changed the way the disciples looked at children. He reminded them that they are important.

It doesn’t matter who someone is: child, parent, senior adult, rich, or homeless. What matters is that we are all important to God—every single one of us. And God wants us to treat others, even those our world says aren’t worthy, as important and as people we should love. We don’t always have to like someone. But God calls us to recognize that each person is created by Him and so they deserve love and forgiveness.

Discussion and Action

• Ask your children if there has ever been a time when they felt like they weren’t as important because they aren’t an adult. Talk about how that made them feel.
• Talk about ways to remember that everyone is important.
• How can you show others that they are important to God this week?

Prayer

Thank God that we are all important to Him. Apologize that we don’t always treat others like they are important to God.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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