Summary: This sermon was written for a special Pre-School Sunday, but is also appropriate for any Rally Day Service. It focuses on reaching the unchurched.
I just love Pre-Schoolers! Aren’t they great? Ask them a question and you never know what will come out of their little mouths. No inhibitions – they just tell it like it is! That’s why, for us parents, they can be both loveable, adorable and scary at the same time! No editing! No review. No checking the facts of what they’ll say – they just say it!
Four-year-old, Jenny, was telling her Dad about the Bible story she heard in her Sunday school class. It was the story of Jesus healing the blind man. When she got to the part where the Pharisees questioned the healed man, she said, "Oh boy, were those Ferris Wheels jealous of Jesus!"
It’s funny what they believe they’ve heard for us as we try to teach them. I’ll bet you never prayed: "Our Father who art in heaven Harold be thy name." Or "forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who throw trash in our trash baskets." Pre-Schoolers have!
One family as they were driving home from church, were happily talking about friends in the church whose child was presented for baptism that day. As they were about it, their 3-year-old daughter Elizabeth asked, "What does it mean to be baptized?" Her 5-year-brother Joshua spoke up, "Oh, baptism—that’s when the preacher washes all your senses away."
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her class of five year-old’s. After explaining the commandment to honor your father and your mother, she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat, one little boy answered, "You shall not kill."
But then, pre-schoolers at times can say some things that are truly, deeply profound. Four-year-old Jonathan was trying to learn the Lord’s Prayer. He learned by listening at church each Sunday. On one Sunday as the family was praying the Lord’s Prayer, he could be heard above all the others, praying, "Our Father who art in Heaven, I know you know my name." "I know you know my name!" And He does! He knows me by name and He knows you by name; and our children know that He knows them by name too!
We’re here today to celebrate a special "Pre-School Sunday" -- to offer our God our worship and our praise, and to thank Him for how wonderfully He has worked in the lives of our children and used the great teachers and staff we have here at Our Savior to bring a deeper knowledge to them of all that He’s done and still does for us through our Lord Jesus Christ. And because our God is a God who loves to do new things, we worship Him also in anticipation of the changes that He wants to work in us – having an open and receptive heart – the heart of a child to hear His voice and to come to Him!
Our theme today is: "Let the Children Come.." It’s from the words we just read, where Jesus says: "Let the little children come to Me..." And when we think of that invitation of Jesus we have to understand that it’s not just for "children" in the strict sense of the term – but His invitation goes out to children of all ages whether you’re 2 or 102 – the invitation is to come to Him, the Lord of Life! So really, it’s Jesus Himself who’s standing right here among us today, personally calling each of us, inviting us to come close to Him. Through His Word He wants to speak to us and through us. He longs for an opportunity to work in each of our hearts – to melt us, mold us, and shape us into the men and women, boys and girls that He wants us to be.
Today the invitation for you to come to Jesus is a personal one. You might be saying to yourself, "Well, I come to church regularly – I even usher on Sunday mornings." Or you might be thinking, "I have my children enrolled in Sunday School." "I do read my Bible now and then." He’s not talking about having a casual acquaintance with Him. His invitation is for you this day to take a new step and come even closer to Him than you have before. He wants you to come right up to Him so that through His grace He can put His powerful arms of love around you and hold you tight.
Did you ever notice how some people just seem to radiate the love of God. Their attitude is right. They have an unmistakable sense of peace about them in the midst of trying situations. People noticed that about the followers of Christ after His resurrection. They noticed the boldness and conviction, and it says in Acts 4:13 "...they were amazed and realized what being with Jesus had done for them!" (TLB).The invitation’s there – and the opportunities for you to grow close to Jesus are plenty! I pray that God will give you a desire to grow close to Him and have Him come and fill your life and begin – as He always loves to do – a new thing in you!