Church Kids

At church last Sunday, two year old Lillas wandered around the pulpit while her big sister Hannah (age 8) read scripture with their grandfather. These children have been with our church familiy from their very beginning. In the comfort of their mother’s womb they listened to the hymns, prayers, scripture readings, even the sermon.
Often, parents say, “I won’t bring my children to church. I want them to choose for themselves, when they are old enough.”
I believe intelligent choices require knowledge. How can a child make a choice for a Christian lifestyle when she/he knows nothing about it?
At the moment these children know they belong with our church family. Whether or not in the future they choose a life long relationship with the church, the grounding in faith, they receive during the next few years will always be with them. As they participate in Junior Church, Church picnics & parties, and worship, they will learn the Christian story. They will learn that they are loved by God. God’s call to them to love others and all of God’s creation will be written on their hearts. Their parents love and faith are giving these two beautiful beloved children a solid foundation for living.

Thoughts on “My Jesus Year”

A few months ago, the book “My Jesus Year” by Benyamin Cohen grabbed my attention in the book store. The fly leaf synopsis spoke of Benyamin’s dissatisfaction with his Jewish heritage, and his subsequent journey to answer the question, “What would it be like to be a Christian?” I’ve finally had time to read it. It’s funny, actually hilarious, in places. It carries a message for people of all faiths, if we can be open to listen.
Interfaith dialogue, speaking with and experiencing worship with, people of other faiths will not destroy our own. When we begin with a solid grounding in our own faith, and we step out with an open and respectful attitude to others, God speaks to us. On the last page Benyamin says, “It took going out of my comfort zone, being a stranger in a strange land, to make me realize just how much I cherish my own faith. I now have a new appreciation for our prayers, our people and our rituals. It seems odd to say it, but I guess it’s true. Hanging out with Jesus has made me a better Jew.”
I believe that Benyamin is right. Openness rather than judgment, respect rather than fear, actual experience rather than hearsay can teach us so much. Although, at times I wished that Benyamin had written more about experiences with Christians like me, his respectful presentation of the many forms of Christianity had much to teach me. This book is a good read. I recommend it.