Where are the kids? The local TV stations used to ask us at 10:00 every night. It’s the question I ask Carrie-Anne when I come home after work. Thirty minutes after church when I’m ready to get in the car. In a crowded mall. At the park. When it’s especially quiet in the house. When the bikes are left on the lawn. Where are the kids?
If we ask that question as we’re reading Scripture—where are the kids?—the answer always comes back, “right in the big middle of everything.” Right where God put ’em. Right where God wants ’em.
Matthew 21 – Jesus enters the temple in the last week of his life. The children are there shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David!” The religious leaders in the temple are indignant. Maybe the kids were clapping, I don’t know. Maybe just the fact that the kids were in the middle of the temple being loud was enough to upset these teachers and priests. Jesus answers their indignation by quoting Scripture. “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.”
Exodus 10 – Before the plague of locusts, God tells Moses he’s doing this “that you may tell your children and grandchildren…”
Exodus 12 – God insitutes the formational Passover Supper with everyone’s kids right there around the table. “When your children ask you…then tell them.”
Deuteronomy 4 – God’s giving the Law to his people. “Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
Deuteronomy 6 – Same thing. “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” And again, when your son asks you, tell him the stories.
Joshua 4 – Setting up the stones to mark the spot where they crossed the Jordan River. When your children ask you, tell them.
Matthew 18 & 19, Mark 10, Luke 18 – Parents bring their children to Jesus. And he welcomed them gladly. They brought their kids to Jesus so he could touch them and bless them and teach them. And he did. Jesus took little kids in his arms, he placed his hands on their heads, he prayed for them. He warns us not to ignore them or neglect them or discourage them in any way because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to our little children and he’s not willing that any of them should be lost.
In our Scriptures, the kids are always right in the big middle of everything. Exactly where God put ’em. In our Bibles, the children are never on the edges, they’re not peripheral participants in the community of faith. They’re not sent to the other room. They don’t eat at a different table. They’re not placed in an “age-appropriate educational environment.” They are critical components. They are integral to God’s plan for his people. They are the centerpiece to our sacred conversations and the core of our holy gatherings.
Where are the kids?
When you’re praying. When you’re reading the Word. When you’re singing praises to God. When you’re at the common table with your brothers and sisters in Christ. When you’re talking about our Savior and the Gospel’s impact on your life.
Where are the kids?