“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world it leaves to its children.”— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
On Sunday, The Warehouse Church, OTR held its Annual Back to School Bash in Washington Park. Check out photos! The LORD held back the rain and hundreds of kids and their families were blessed with book bags, books, school supplies, a great feast, and a lot of fun! We worshiped Jesus and heard inspiring messages of God’s love and how it can be shown to our precious children. Then we prayed for the children, their parents, caregivers, teachers and administrators for a safe, joy-filled, and successful school year. We listened as our worship leader, child advocate Robert Johnson, shared some of the obstacles children face as they re-enter schools including: poverty, fears for safety, and dysfunctional family systems that produce behavioral issues. He challenged us that every time we interact with a child we can leave them encouraged or discouraged, loved or wanting…that seems true for us as adults too.
Nelson Mandela said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Both Mandela and Dietrich Bonhoeffer (above) provoke us to consider the society we are crafting for generations to come. SOCIETY is defined as the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community—having shared customs, laws, and organizations. Society also means companionship, a friendly association with others. A healthy society understands and acknowledges that we are all in this together. Sometimes I wonder if we as Christians consider how our ways impact the youth of our nation. Our moral fiber seems to be thread bare these days, and our witness is becoming less and less credible. This makes me think of one of Jesus’ encounters:
13One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. 14When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 15I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16, NLT)
The Kingdom of God is a society made up of Heavenly citizens with childlike qualities. That makes it worthwhile to consider not just whether or not we are treating our children well, or leaving them a good societal legacy; we must also examine ourselves to see if we hold the nature of children. Jesus taught His disciples, “Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all]. Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4, AMPC)