Pastor's Corner

The Next Generation

There is a great paradox that exists in the construct of human existence, which is evident especially in the life of the church. A paradox is a situation where two seemingly opposite things are true at the same time. The paradox I am referring to is the noise of children.

What I mean is, children carry along with them a level of audible influence that is as unmistakable as it is constant. Rarely is it possible to have a group of children in a room or building and not feel their impact. This noise is almost always accompanied by activity and energy that has such an effect on a room that I believe it is impossible to miss. And because of this, there exists a particular paradox worth noting.

See, at times, the sounds of children can be quite irritating. There are times when it can be hard to hear another person, or yourself, speak. There are times when the sounds of children are the only thing anyone can hear, simply because they are the loudest. Put a group of children in a room together and it is almost guaranteed to be the loudest room in the building. I have often pondered at the efficiency by which children can create sounds, yet how quickly those sounds can annoy adults. This is a phenomenon that is quite intriguing. But remember, this is a paradox.

And the reason this is a paradox is because those same sounds of children, even the crying and occasional screaming, all represent something to us that has more value than we can describe. I could say it this way, there is no parallel on a human scale to the importance of those sounds.

Why? Because these sounds represent the next generation growing up before us. When children play, and when they make noise, they are just being themselves, and we need them to be themselves. We need them to be children because it means that we have children. We need them to be children because it is in them that we glimpse the future. We need them to be children now, then teenagers, and then adults, fulfilling their God given part of creation for each and every step of their own journey.

As we hear those rumblings of the smallest among us, we ought to recognize that God is providing a blessing, even as loud as it may be, in that it is through the generations that His faithful followers bless the world. God tells Fathers to love their children through faithful instruction (Eph. 6:4). Mothers are given the joyous responsibility of nurturing and caring. (Prov. 31). Families are admonished to reflect the love and provision for one another that God has first shown to us through creation and then through Christ. (1 Tim. 5, Deut. 11, Prov. 22, 2 Tim. 3)

As God’s people, His church, we are given the weighty yet beautiful task of teaching the next generation about the glory of creation and its Creator, about the blessedness of Jesus Christ, and the marvel of eternal life in heaven.

There is a great paradox that exists in the noise of the children. When my family and I first came to WEBC, one of the noticeable effects of the prior years was that there were few children and families left as part of our congregation. The sounds of the next generation were silent for a time, as God went about His work to build what he had planned. But now, you don’t have to pay too close attention to hear the sounds of the children once again, and it is a wonderful thing.

God has again bestowed upon us this blessing, though it may be loud at times. I pray He will continue to bless us in this way, that we can rejoice in the work of preparing the children to be faithful followers of Christ in the generation to come. - Pastor Jayson