We had the annual baby blessing last night at Otter. It was a happy occasion full of crying, talking, and gurgling babies dressed to the teeth (lots of long christening dresses) and their loving anxious parents just hoping to make it through the ceremony without a meltdown or a blowout.
I find it interesting that not much is said about rearing children in the Bible--outside of Deut. and Proverbs. Oh, of course, Jesus called children to himself as well. In our child-centered society, one would expect more.
I do know that children who begin their lives in a loving two-parent home, surrounded by a committed Christian community are bound to be blessed in so many ways that others are not.
Former "children" of Otter testified last night about how important it was to them to have that support--although I think that sometimes they thought we were the "All-Seeing Eye" watching them.
Religious education and spiritual support of children is one way I have seen the church grow in my lifetime . The religious education part should always be alive to new educational developments and fresh approaches--sometimes a weakness. Spiritual support can be enhanced by a spiritually alive youth director such as David Rubio at Otter. He has made it a part of the training of his group to introduce them to the spiritual disciplines in the last few years. They know more about the spiritual disciplines than most of the adult parents, I think.
If all churches were asked, as we were last night, to commit ourselves to the spiritual support of their children and took it seriously, things might begin to happen that we can't even imagine.
Baby Gracie Rae was so exhausted from her trip to Houston that she was just a lump last night--but she looked lovely in her checked dress and satin socks. Yes, God bless Gracie Rae, Maddie, Ella, Sam and all the other children who are newly learning about you. May they bring this world your light and rejuvenate our pale and flickering faith.