“If he is small, we talk about his parents; if he is a teenager, one is interested in his delinquency; in institutions, it is often the issue of the debate, called to endorse the choices of adults. He is no longer the infant of yesteryear, the one who does not speak. He speaks, the floor is given to him. It is also in his name, in the name of his good that we speak.
Is the child of politicians, educators, sociologists, shrinks, parents the same? This multiplicity of often contradictory discourses, which underpin modern Western educational practices, has led to a new conception of childhood that has gradually become part of practices and law, and which affects the relationships of authority, education and transmission between generations. (The Cluster’s Research)
And for God the child who is he?
His creature he loves, which is valuable to him. A unique being in its own right, recognized. A person in the making, who is the object of all his attention and with whom He wants to communicate. Someone who will be able to take on important responsibilities.
God intervenes The child has not changed in the eyes of God, and his love has not varied towards him. God does not talk about the child, He knows him perfectly, he sees where he is, he knows what he needs, he is able to hear him and respond to his cry. He loves her with immeasurable love. Does he not say in the Bible: “If a woman abandoned the child she breastfeeds, I would collect him,” said the Lord. “Let the children come to me! Don’t stop them,” said Jesus (Luke 18:16)
I like God’s intervention in the narrative we find in the book of Genesis in chapter 21 of verse 17 to 20. A maid has just been driven from her master’s house with her child in the desert. She cries and doesn’t know what to do.
An angel comes and speaks to him: “God has heard the child’s voice; in the place where he is. Get up, take the child, grab it with your hand; for I will make him a great nation. It’s an order, but with a promise. “I will make him… She went to fill the extra with water, and gave him a drink. God was with the child, who grew up… »
Agar obeyed, God kept his promise. He did not abandon the child, but blessed him. He is a God who loves all children in the same way, regardless of the colour of their skin, the place where they live, whether they are rich or devoid of everything. He is a God of consolation, of mercy, a God who does not accept anyone. He takes care of his creature contrary to what we hear very often: “Where is God and what is he doing?” To believe that He is the author of evil! This is a great lack of knowledge of its nature. Nothing is hidden from him. He sees children wherever they are, He knows their needs, their thirst, in this arid world. He said again, “Get up, grab them by the hand.”
We want to respond
… eagerly and go fill our extras in order to give them a drink. We are aware that most children in our country have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us make known to the greatest number of people “the greatest promises ever made, and what God has done to keep it.” “For God loved the world so much that He gave his only son so that anyone who believes in him does not perish but is eternal life.” (John 3/16)
Play, musical, distribution of the Bible, relief for the most needy, distribution of food, clothing, toys, games, sponsorships of children, support to humanitarian and charitable organizations… Every day for a long time already take action to meet the immense needs of all these children who suffer in one way or another, in order to bring them a little happiness, draw across borders a smile on their young faces too often marked.
All life needs to be heard, understood through its expectations, aspirations, worries, suffering, satisfaction in everyday life and uniqueness. There is no greater joy than giving what we have received with abundance. This ability to see, to hear, to listen is essential to avoid the double pitfall of perceiving the child only through theoretical, disembodied and generalizing concepts or alienating him in the representation of our own childhood.
As a young boy, Timothy lives with the Apostle Paul, he sees, hears and learns. “For you you have followed closely my teaching, my conduct, my plans, my faith, my gentleness, my love, my constancy.” What a testimony for a child!
He knows the price of living with God. He knows the difficulties: “… my persecutions, my sufferings.” But what he acquired as a child, that is, a solid teaching, will allow his faith to take root. Paul’s example and conduct will guide his life. “You remain in the things you have learned, and recognized some, knowing that you have learned them; from your childhood, you know the holy letters that can make you wise to salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. »
When he became a man, he followed Paul. In this passage, the apostle exhorts him that “All writing is inspired by God, and useful to teach, to convince, to correct, to instruct in righteousness, so that the man of God may be fulfilled and fit for all good work.” The Word of God is indispensable for our children, it is the foundation par excellence.
Paul’s testimony, a reflection of the Word of God, will mark the life of this young boy, to lead him to be in turn a witness to Jesus Christ. What Paul passes on to Timothy is the legacy he has received from Jesus Christ, that is, all that he himself has learned from him.
The child is like a malleable land: he trusts; He is open and attentive; he is much more sensitive to spiritual things than the adult; he craves love and absolutes.
Mobilizing is a real necessity, both within and outside the Church. Let us go to the children of our neighbourhoods, of our city, and passing on to them the Gospel, the Good News. Others, with far less laudable intentions, understood this. Let us give this new generation of true values, an eternal hope and a reason to live that will change their world into a less cruel world, and above all into a world where we can freely speak of Jesus, our true hope.
Let’s commit to:
To respect the child:
As a person in his own right,
By listening to his needs, his questions, his difficulties…
By giving ourselves the means to put themselves within his reach,
By doing everything possible to encourage its development and preserve its physical, emotional, psychic, social and spiritual integrity.
To pass on the gospel taking into account the child’s age and context:
By offering appropriate materials, activities and pedagogy,
By also reaching out to those who do not know Jesus Christ.
To recognize the place of the child in the church:
As a full member,
By empowering him in the life of worship,
By accompanying him in his life as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
To encourage the child to find his place in society as:
Witness of Jesus Christ.
To equip parents and all those who work with children by proposing:
Various and varied training courses,
To pray for:
The children of our churches,
The children of our neighbourhoods,
“LET THE CHILDREN COME TO ME. DON’T STOP THEM! »
“Refusing a nostalgic vision of the ideal child, we must think of it in the context of today’s life, so that he imagines himself in his life of tomorrow.”