Monday, August 17, 2020

The value of children

In the gospel of Mark we read about this encounter that Jesus has with some children (read Mark 10:13-16). Put yourself in the scene with me today; use your imagination. Children are swarming to be around Jesus, they long to be in His presence. This was completely unexpected and contrary to cultural norms. A Rabi wouldn’t allow children to touch Him, but Jesus had them sit on His lap and blessed them. In the ancient world children were considered to be of lesser value than livestock. Many children weren’t given a name until the age of 5. The child mortality rate, at this point in history, was about 50%. At a time when children had such little value, we see Jesus place such a high value on them.

In the middle of the gospel we read that Jesus was with the children. Jesus showed them value. I like to think of Jesus playing duck duck goose with the kids. Maybe a kid brought out a jump role and they are laughing while jumping rope. What if Jesus did the old pull a quarter from your ear trick on one of the little kids? The unspoken blessing here was invaluable for these children who might have felt unwanted. For Jesus to show these children this much attention would have been a cultural norm breaker. It was one of those things that sticks out in your mind because it is so unordinary.

You might be wondering why I’m talking about Jesus spending time with children in a sermon about abortion. I need us to see how much Jesus valued kids. Of everything that Jesus did, Mark thought it was important enough to write this in his gospel account of the life of Jesus. Of all the miracles, the healings, the teachings, the feeding of thousands of people, Jesus spent time with children. It was important for Jesus to invest His time into them.

Before I trusted Jesus I thought abortions were fine. In my mind, they were a solution to a problem for careless behavior. Most of the friends I knew who had an abortion was because they were careless in their sexual activity. Abortion was another form of birth control to solve a mistake. When I look to my past and see my old way of thinking I’m convicted on how I viewed life. I didn’t view life through the eyes of Jesus. Through the eyes of Jesus there is value in all people. Jesus sees the world from a better perspective than I see it.

Early in our marriage, Charity worked at a crisis pregnancy center. I’m not sure if this is still what they are called, but it was a place for women to learn about their pregnancy before making a life or death decision. It was a group of people who loved the Lord and wanted women to know they weren’t alone in their pregnancy. It was a resource to ladies of all ages who might have been confused about their pregnancy and what to do. Conversations about ultrasounds and abortion became the norm at our kitchen table. I learned about the developmental stages of a baby inside the womb. I learned that some women feel ill-prepared to be a mother. Some women who have an abortion are pressured. A study shows that 88% of women were encouraged to get an abortion and others never wanted a child. Many fear the financial cost is too much and think abortion is the only choice.

What if God is asking us to be like Jesus and show how valuable children are? Is God asking you to come alongside a pregnant woman and help her through the rollercoaster of emotions of an unwanted pregnancy? Maybe your small group would throw a woman a baby shower? We have a ministry here that does this. It’s called My Baby’s First Teacher and people from Coastline walk alongside mothers during their pregnancy. The class ends with a baby shower. If this is something you want to be apart of, reach out to the church office and we will get your connected. In my mind it’s one of the best things we do as a church body.

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