Tell the Next Generation

One of the things that saddens me most about this pandemic is the church’s reduced opportunities to teach children about God. Sunday School, children’s church, children’s ministry events, and church-based preschool have all been curtailed or altered in some way. My church has just cautiously re-opened preschool with safety and sanitation protocols that were unheard of 12 months ago. We have yet to reopen all of our typical children’s educational opportunities. We gather the kids together safely for some fellowship and outdoor learning activities, but the more traditional classroom settings haven’t been reestablished yet.

Psalm 78 (Common English Version)

Listen, my people, to my teaching;
    tilt your ears toward the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth with a proverb.
    I’ll declare riddles from days long gone—
        ones that we’ve heard and learned about,
        ones that our ancestors told us.
We won’t hide them from their descendants;
    we’ll tell the next generation
    all about the praise due the Lord and his strength—
    the wondrous works God has done.

But when you think about it, not being able to gather children in a church building for Christian education should not matter if parents are doing what this Psalm suggests. The best way for kids to learn about their Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer is right at home. Two things need to happen for this to be successful.

First, parents must make an intentional plan for teaching. Bedtime prayers, saying grace before meals, reading every day from a child’s bible or a bible-based story book, and most importantly talking about God as he moves throughout a parent’s life are the beginning steps in a child’s spiritual formation.

But even prior to that, parents need to know the Lord themselves…up close and personal. We can only teach what we know. More accurately, we can only teach WHOM we know. Do you know God?

He established a law for Jacob
    and set up Instruction for Israel,
        ordering our ancestors
        to teach them to their children.

What are you teaching your children and grandchildren about God? Are you living a godly life as an example to them? Do the things they overhear you saying line up with God’s instructions? Because trust me, the children are listening.

This is so that the next generation
    and children not yet born will know these things,
        and so they can rise up and tell their children
    to put their hope in God—
        never forgetting God’s deeds,
        but keeping God’s commandments

Today is a good day to begin your own home version of Sunday School. Teach them God’s commandments. Teach them Jesus’ salvation. Teach them to love their neighbor. Teach them who made the stars and the bugs. From sunrise to sunset, teach them that God is LOVE.

And for heaven’s sake, tell them to put their hope in God. They’re gonna need it.

Sunset Hope by Kathy Weeks

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