1 John 2:12-13 (NKJV)
12 I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake… I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father.
For the last several weeks we have considered the various lessons which children teach us. As members of the Kingdom of God, Christ has placed children here to teach all of us various lessons – lessons about trust, about sin, about authority, about obedience. We close our meditations on children with the words of John in his epistle:
I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake… I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father.
Children, you are here in the Church to teach us about the Gospel. Here is the glorious good news. Through no merit of your own God has brought you into the covenant community, welcomed you in baptism, declared to you, “You are My child, You are one of My people.” Your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake – not because God is first and foremost concerned about your happiness, your joy, and your peace – but because first and foremost He is concerned about His Name. And precisely because He is concerned about His Name, He welcomes you, forgives you, loves you working for your greatest happiness, joy and peace. He chose, before the foundation of the world, that you would be here, that you would be born to Christian parents, that you would have the inestimable privilege of growing up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
So what is to be your response? To know the Father, to love Him, to trust Him. “I write to you, little children,” John says, “Because you have known the Father.” Children, you are here to teach us adults to know and love and trust the Lord. Relatively free from the cynicism that so early descends upon humanity, free from the despair which wraps its tendrils around our hearts and minds, free from the bitterness that clouds and destroys our judgment – you are here to teach us to trust the Father, to believe that He causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.
So children – teach us. Exhibit for us what faith and trust look like. When you are facing trials, when your family is facing hardship, direct your mom and dad, your brothers and sisters, to the face of Christ. You know the Father; help them to remember the Father as well. And adults – learn. Learn from the younger saints that God will indeed care for us – so what need to fret? What need for anxiety? What need for worry? Will not He who cares for all the beasts of the field care for His own children? Of course he will.
Reminded that God is the One who calls us to Himself and invites us into the company of His people; reminded that He does so so that we might be a people who know Him and love Him as do the youngest members in our midst, let us kneel and confess that we have often strayed from our first love.