Friday, August 10, 2018

Children of God

Someone once said that the most difficult teachings we sometimes relegate to kids stories.  This includes the stories of David and Goliath, Jonah, and the birth of Christ.  When you start to dig deeper into these stories, you find messages that are difficult to put into practice.  The theory is that relegating these to children's stories helps adults to avoid a heavy message.  I wonder if this is not also true with music? 

I think of Jesus Love Me as a children's song, but the message of the song is pertinent to all people.  Some people have trouble with believing that Jesus truly loves them.  I sometimes see adults sing this song less enthusiastically than other songs.  I have found myself looking around the room for children to sing this song toward them rather than toward other adults.  Is this only a kids song with a kid's message?  Then there is a line in the song, "I will henceforth live for thee," which in some song books has been toned down to "I will try to live for thee."  Is this children's song too demanding that some adult somewhere had to tone it down?  I sure would rather say to my wife, "I will love you all my days" rather than "I will try to love you all my days."  If I wouldn't say the latter to my wife, why would I say it to God?

I am also thinking of the song, Trust and Obey.  I remember singing this on the Joy Bus as a child, and in Sunday School.  I typically think of it as a children's song.  It is so simple with very simple and easy to sing music.  But why is this a children's song?  Perhaps it was an attempt to reinforce obedience in children?  But does the need to reinforce faithful obedience stop when a child becomes an adult?  Do adults not struggle with faith and obedience as well?  Do we not need to keep singing songs such as this as a simple reminder?  Why would we think this message too simple if we continue to struggle with faith and obedience?

Then there is Jesus Loves the Little Children.  This was a very popular song in children's church, on the bus, and Sunday School.  The simple reminder in this song is that Jesus loves everyone, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, age, or social status.  He "loves the little children of the world."  Is that not a message adults need to be continually reminded of?  How often to we adults need to relearn this message aimed at children? 

Maybe there's truth in the statement that some of the most difficult teachings of the Bible are relegated to children's messages.  That way, we feel as though we have moved past it and no longer have to deal with it.  But I wonder if it is more pride than anything else.  There are times when we need to be reminded of the simple basics.  The Bible calls us beloved "children" of God.  Therefore, his message is always pertinent to us.  We are never too old, big, or mature for his message.