“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10
He is Risen! How good it is to know Christ has conquered. The victory is His! Death no longer has victory over us. As Jesus promised his disciples in Revelation: Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of everlasting life…The one who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death (referring to eternal judgment).
Let me tell you a story that I hope will encourage you. For over two years now we have been praying the Lord’s Prayer almost nightly with our daughter Ai Lan (Yes, we do The Faith 5 with our kids each night, alternating between a set of more scripted prayers, including the Lord’s Prayer, and extemporaneous praying). In over two years she has maybe said the LP a few times with us.
Part of this is a language thing, she has been learning English since we brought her into our home and has much room for growth. Part of this may be an adoptive independence/autonomy seeking reaction. Bear in mind my daughter had at least four very distinct homes/living situations before she turned three. This can create a myriad of actions/reactions in any person, some that can be understood, some may never be. It doesn’t change the love and discipline we give, but makes us ever mindful of the need to build bonds that come naturally to a biological child cared for from the womb but need to be created in adoptive/fostering situations.
Then one of our Sunday School teachers told us that during class, when the little ones were gathered and encouraged to pray, my daughter Ai Lan said the Lord’s Prayer-at least the words she knew. It brought tears to my eyes hearing that. Here are some of the reasons:
• She is learning what prayer is and can associate it across contexts (from home to church to Sunday School class).
• The two years of effort have not been in vain. We need not grow weary in doing good.
• The seeds of faith are taking root. I pray all my children would grow up and be fruitful in the kingdom throughout their lives.
• There are people at this church who love my children and are helping them grow in faith. And I know this is true of all my children who span the range from high school to preschool (and it seems everything in between). I know my kids are supported, encouraged, and prayed for by many others besides myself. This is part of the beauty of the local church.
You and I both know it takes more than two years to raise a child in the faith.
It takes a couple decades at the start and then a lifetime of faithful witness and encouragement as well. Are we as parents each given the responsibility to raise our children in that faith? Absolutely. Parents are and always will be the primary mentors in their children’s lives.
Yet the beauty of the church is that we gather together to encourage, equip, and build up the faith of each other and each other’s children. I’m glad my sons have examples of godly men beside myself here at St. Andrews. I’m glad my daughters have women of faith and godly character to look up to and be encouraged by.
Consider this: in our increasingly fractured culture and society, where can all the generations gather to be valued, learn from each other, and unite in common purpose and mission? The church offers something no one else does, a unified body that rejoices in the contributions and passions of all generations. . . if we do not grow weary in doing good, if we do not give up on gathering, teaching, serving, sharing, proclaiming, caring, and more!
May the victory found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ inspire you to keep on keeping on with your family, friends, work, faith, and life. We will reap in due season-to the praise and glory of Jesus Christ.