Sunday, Oct. 19 was Children and Youth Sunday at New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia. Pastor Lois Blakey-Paige preached to the adults as well as to the children and youth. The sermon title, “The Treasures That Are In Our Children,” was based on Luke 2:41-52 about Jesus being left behind when he was twelve years old. His parents found him in the temple sitting among the teachers and asking them questions.
Most people ask certain questions such as “What is my purpose?”and “Why did God create me?” Pastor Paige said, “When you were created, you were created with a purpose and a promise.” God knew you and what you would do and be before you were in your mother’s womb.
Children are showing their purpose already by what they do, what they like and what questions they ask. There are subtle things that let parents know what their children are interested in doing when they grow up. Parents, like Mary in the text, ponder these things in their heart.
As an object lesson, Pastor Paige used a telephone to illustrate her career path and her interest when she was a child. She said when she was about five years old she was attracted to telephones. She would dial “O” for the operator and after hearing the operator’s voice she would hang up. When she was in the eleventh grade she applied for a job with the telephone company and began working there as a telephone operator. Working with telephones has been the only job she has ever had. Even today she is an engineer working with telephone systems. She related this to the congregation to emphasize that there are some indications in children that are related to what they will do when they grow up.
Pastor Paige pointed out three things parents can do to help their children: Be attentive, be attuned and be active. Pay attention to your children and notice what they are curious about. Be attuned to them when they ask questions about certain things. Be active in your child’s life. Let your children know they are loved and understood. Children need to know they are significant. They have treasures in them that parents are to protect. Parents can be active by making provisions for their children to explore their interests.
At the end of the sermon, Pastor Paige called out the names of all the children in the congregation and spoke personally to each one. She told the children that we love them, want the best for them and we notice what they do. She admonished the parents to treasure the gifts in their children.