Kids and Families Connect
1 Corinthians 12:22
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
It’s a common question to kids, and as I thought about what I would write this week, I actually asked it of my two-year-old. She gave me a blank stare, unsure of the question. And I’m glad too, I’m not ready for her to have an answer. It seems like just yesterday I was in her room, my arm stuck under her sleeping form in her crib. I didn’t dare move, lest I wake her. I had a lot of moments like that when she was small, not wanting to disturb her, but feeling a little trapped. Some good mentors told me to cherish those moments, because they don’t come again.
Asking the question ‘what do you want to be’ is about the future and, while good, takes our focus off the present. God has prepared these moments; he tells us that ‘those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.’ My daughter is a part of that body now, and in that moment where I was feeling stuck, she was teaching me patience and love. Her role in my life was indispensable. As we raise our children, we faithfully teach them to set goals to live out God’s will for their lives. But they have things to teach us today too, that is their contribution right now to the body of Christ.
Holy Spirit, open my eyes to see the indispensable nature of my own children and everyone’s child in your eyes as we grow together to be more like Jesus. Amen.
A Garden Tip
Petunias are at their best when you pinch out the growth tip. Two things happen: the upward growth slows and the lower nodes of the plant replace leaves with side branches that can hold more leaves and flowers. The result is a fuller plant with more blossoms. Petunias thrive with help from others.
Kids are like that, too. Left to their own they can grow in ways that are self-destructive, hurtful to others and not God-pleasing. That’s why we’re called to be gardeners of our children! We are to train them, teach them, prune them when needed, and love them. I know my petunias tend to get away from me. God not only gives kids parents, but a whole family of faith with many connections where trimming and training can happen.
Our Scripture readings for this week’s sermon assemble this message - “For the body doesn’t consist of one member but of many.” 1 Cor. 12:14 - “But with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape.” 1 Cor. 10:13 - “Train up a child in the way he should go.” Prov. 22:6 - “Without counsel plans fail.” Prov. 15:22
When we as parents, relatives, church members connect with our Children of Trinity to model right living and thinking, when we intentionally remind them of God’s words by engaging them in spiritual conversation, we are helping them to bloom spiritually into beautiful flowers of God.
Heavenly Father, help me to be intentional in guiding my kids and the Children of Trinity through my words and actions. Amen.
1 Corinthians 12:25-16
The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 MSG
We are Christ’s body-that’s who we are! But only as we ACCEPT our part of the body does our “part” mean anything. If we don’t accept it, then we reject our Father’s gift and grieve the Holy Spirit. That was certainly not my intention but I spent years afraid to use my God-given gifts because I didn’t think I was well equipped. Thankfully other members were actively doing their “part” and as I was encouraged to use my gifts, I finally accepted my “part” and discovered my calling.
As adults we encourage children to try new things in order to discover interests and develop skills. We are supportive in the physical areas, like sports but we tend to lose the focus and passion for their spiritual growth. In our connected Body of Christ at Trinity, we encourage our youth as God develops their gifts and invite them to connect into The Body as they are equipped.
Lord, we thank you for our gifts and we honor you by doing our “part” for your Purpose in Jesus name. Amen!
As He heads toward the cross, Jesus prays not only for His disciples, but for those who will believe in Him through their message - believers of all ages – even the unborn. And look what He prays for -- complete unity! The same unity that He has with the Father! Jesus is asking His Father to bring his followers together in the same deep unity of heart, soul and mind that He has with His Father. What an amazing prayer!
Sharing God’s Word with children and young adults is best when working alongside fellow believers and then watching the Holy Spirit bring these precious young people into that same unity of faith. It is so different from teaching alone.
Father, I can’t thank you enough for receiving the prayers of your Son Jesus Christ for our unity. May I be used to share your message with the young people in my life, that we would all be joined together in more perfect unity each day. Amen.
I Corinthians 12:27
I grew up with parents of German and English descent. They didn’t speak often of their faith; but we knew that faith was strong and alive because they LIVED it. They shared that faith with us through love, prayer and example, especially through their life in the church – a life in which we were included. Their unspoken definition of church wasn’t limited to a building or Sunday morning church attendance. It was a way of life – our life. The church framed and defined our life. As a family we participated fully with the other members of the church. We knew we were part of the family of God and were loved, accepted, encouraged, served and taught by members.
From this wonderful extended family I learned many things: that Jesus loved me and everyone else; that he died for my sins and will welcome me into heaven some day; that regular worship, bible study and prayer are an essential part of individual and church life; and that life revolved around the church. Finally, I learned that we don’t keep the wonderful life in the church for ourselves, we share it with others.
During my growing up years there were many people who greatly influenced my life. Most of them were in my church. I remember times when I was taught, loved, helped and given gentle admonition, by people who had a profound impact on my life.
Lord Jesus, clear my life of “business” to leave space for the children in our church family who need my influence. Amen.
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