Last Sunday, our Shepherds and their wives sat on the floor with our younger church children as our children's minister told a special Bible story. Then one of our Shepherds stood with a little girl they were keeping until God's chosen family came to receive her into her family. He prayed a special blessing on our children as they began a new school year while the rest of our Shepherds and their wives remained on the floor with our greatest treasures — the children God has given to our congregation and our families.
Yesterday, a family stood with their little bundle of grace — a little girl that they love as their own. The biological parents of this little girl had tried to abort her way before term because they thought they already had enough children. Even though this precious little girl was born very premature and never expected to live, she is a fighter. Four surgeries later, she was placed with a foster family that is a part of our church. She has endured daily procedures that were sheer agony, but has now stabilized and is growing and blossoming despite all odds. We gathered around her to pray for her next surgery as our church stood on tiptoe to see her and wish her God's blessing. All tests suggest she is going to be a perfectly normal little girl in a few months as she continues to grow. Love does a lot to give hope in even the smallest people!
With the start of school this time of year for many of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we want to remind our Heartlight family to pray for families and little ones as we start a new school year. These precious gifts are eternal reminders of God's love for us. Their spiritual well-being is our responsibility as church families, friends, and physical families. We want these little blessings from God to grow just as Jesus grew, "both in height and in wisdom, and he was loved by God and by all who knew him." (Luke 2:52 NLT)
So much of church these days is about growing bigger churches, appealing to the consumer interests of people, and keeping everyone happy. Why would a large and growing church devote so much of its up-front Sunday morning time to little girls that weren't "their own" in the eyes of the world? The answer is simple: we believe Jesus would!
"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these." ... Then he took the children into his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them. (Mark 10:14-15)
When we become too busy, too important, or simply too distracted, to love, care, and bless the smallest and most forgotten in our busy worlds, then we've missed Jesus and the heart of God.
Take a little time and ask yourself about how your family and your church take time for those that the world sees as least important ... those who can give the least to your busy proceedings ... those who are forgotten and swept to the side of the road by life ... those who are warehoused in homes for the aging and often forgotten ... those poor and the powerless ... those lost alone on the street left to fend for themselves.
When we answer those questions, we have a lot better idea on whether or not Jesus would come to church with us ... and whether or not we have a right to associate our church with the name of Jesus!
[Jesus said] "I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!" (Matthew 25:40)
We want to invite you to join us in supporting Compassion International and one of those special children out there that needs our help! If you are already involved in the life of a child that is not physically your own, then we thank you.