We know nothing about the childhood of Jesus except for Luke’s account of the time He went missing.
Jesus was twelve, and instead of traveling back home from Jerusalem with his parents and the rest of the pilgrims, he decided to stay back and hang out in the Temple with the teachers. By the time Mary and Joseph found Him, he had spent three days there listening, asking questions, and astonishing His hearers with His understanding and answers. When Mary anxiously asked Him what He was doing, He simply responded, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Lk. 2:49). He then went back home with them, and Luke tells us He continued to grow in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and men.
Now there is a great lesson here for our children in the example of the boy Jesus.
So first, for all you children and young adults. The Bible tells us that we should want to be like Jesus. That He is our great example. This means we should try to love like Him, serve others like Him, and also grow up like Him – increasing in wisdom and favor with both God and others.
All of this worship service every Sunday is for you. It’s not just for Mom and Dad. Just like Jesus in this story, you too can listen to the sermon as you eat your snacks, color, or just sit back in your chairs. You are not too young to learn about the God who loves you.
And when you have questions – for you surely will if you’re paying attention – you are most welcome to ask Pastor Toby them when you grab your chocolate or head down the stairs. I’m positive he would love to talk with you.
Now for all you parents. You are to train your children in church with this aim in mind.
Encourage them to participate in our worship and expect them to listen to the sermon in the same way they listen to a lesson in school. No, they won’t catch it all. But we all know how they surprise us with how much they do hear and understand.
Your goal here is not just to keep them quiet and distracted. Rather, you should want them quiet and attentive. And yes, snacks and coloring go a long way with keeping hands busy so that ears and minds can be engaged.
This isn’t an easy task, but nothing worthwhile is. By training them up in this way, you are helping them grow up into faithful parishioners. You are helping them become like Christ.