For our kids
Tan Jenkins’ memorial service on January 4 was one of the largest we have ever hosted. We don’t often have to ask folks at a funeral to scoot in; we did with Tan’s.
In part, this was because of the remarkable, courageous, radiant person Tan was. Her unconquerable smile and unquenchable joy, regardless of her trials, was an inspiration to everyone she touched. We all WANTED—needed—to celebrate Tan’s life.
But here’s another reason we packed out our sanctuary for her service: we love our kids. And when we find someone who truly loves, truly champions our children, we love and value them, too.
Tan was that sort of person. In her ministry to our babies and little ones, Tan touched hundreds and hundreds of lives. Her passion to care for God’s wee ones, to help them (and their parents) understand how much Jesus really DOES “love the little children of the world,” animated everything Tan did. We celebrated Tan’s life, in great measure, because she took such great care of our most precious resource in the world: our children.
Since last autumn, we have been focusing on how we as followers of Jesus can fulfill his “greatest” commandment to “love God with everything we have and love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves.” We began at a macro level talking about being “For the City.” We zoomed in closer when we talked about being “For Our Neighbor.” To start the New Year, we are going to zoom in even closer and focus on what it means to be “For Our Kids.”
And this means all of us. We will talk about what the Bible says about parenting children, of course. But for empty-nesters like Cyndi and me, and grandparents and great-grandparents too—folks whose “kids” have been long out of the nest, and those who haven’t been biological parents themselves—those little ones we see roaring around the church on a weekend are STILL very much “our kids,” aren’t they? Just last week, we baptized a bunch of babies and all of us—ALL OF US—made vows to help raise those children in the Lord.
There is an old saw that says, “Children are the church of tomorrow.” Perhaps you’ve heard it. And perhaps you’ve heard me say how much I HATE that saying. Children are the church of right now, just as surely as their parents and grandparents are. And in these increasingly challenging times, we need to do everything we can to champion our kids.
I think you’ll be excited to hear what is happening on the north end of this campus—and you will be equipped to be better parents, grands and adopted grands to these, God’s sweetest and most precious gifts to our church.
I’ll see you in church—and why not bring along a friend?