Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

Psalm 127:3–5 (NKJV)
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. 5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

Last Sunday was Sanctity of Human Life Sunday – unfortunately my scheduling got mixed up and I neglected to take note of it. Consequently, I mention it this morning in our call to worship. As men and women made in the image of God, we are to rejoice in the gift of life. Psalm 127 reminds us that the arrival of another child is a gift from God.

But our perspective on children is often askew. Rather than view the arrival of another child as a blessing, a gift from God, we frequently view children as a burden, a weight, and a shackle. We think the fruit of the womb is a curse not a blessing. Sometimes we’re consumed with the desire for more stuff or more me-time; sometimes selfishly driven by our longing for peace and quiet; sometimes irritated by the childishness of children. So we often despise children – children whom our Lord Jesus treasured and blessed. We often embrace fruitlessness and reject fruitfulness. We need to beware lest we give way to this ungodly mentality. Receive children – even others’ children – as a blessing from God.

Because children are a heritage from the Lord, we need to not only receive them but also shepherd and train them as such. Even as a man is called to care for the inheritance he has received from his fathers, so a man is called to care for the inheritance God has given him in the form of his children. We are called to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord – teaching them, training them, instructing them.

So fathers and mothers, how are you doing? Are you treasuring your kids? Are you not just proclaiming that children are a blessing, but acting it out by being engaged with the blessings God has given you? This is what it means to be a parent – to give of yourself, to invest yourself, in the lives of your kids. Take time to shepherd them, to correct them, to admonish them, and to encourage them that they might actually become a blessing to God and to their neighbors.

You who have no children, or who no longer have children at home, how are you doing? As God’s people, we need to beware that we are receiving and welcoming all of God’s people in our congregation – particularly the little ones. For Jesus has told us that of such is the kingdom of God.

Reminded that we often reject the blessing of fruitfulness and embrace fruitlessness instead, let us kneel and confess our sin to the Lord.