Pause for Thought: Bring the children

WE’LL call him Jamie, a seven-year old pupil at the school where I was a governor for a number of

years and helped with the teaching of the Christian section of the R.E. syllabus.

One particular day, there was a lull in the proceedings for me, and my own group had left the

classroom for a break.

Jamie came along in floods of tears. He and his friends, with another teacher, had been watching

a video about the early life of Moses, based on the records of the Old Testament.

“What’s the matter?” I enquired. “I didn’t like the film,” he sobbed.

“Why not?”

“It was the part which showed the killing of the children, and I am worried about my baby brother.”

Paternal instinct led me to put my arm on his shoulder, trying to bring some consolation to the

little fellow. “What happened in the Bible story was a long time ago. I’m sure your parents will

take good care of you and your brother.”

As Jamie walked away, and my own charges returned, I had some serious misgivings in my heart.

Had I said enough to allay Jamie’s fears; would he have bad dreams that night?

I thought too about the tragedies in our world today, the way our boys and girls are exploited and

abused by unscrupulous parents.

Jesus spoke quite sharply to his disciples on one occasion, when they were about to turn mothers

and their offspring away when the only thing they wanted an audience with the Saviour. See the

account in Matthew 19, Mark 10 and Luke 18: important enough to be mentioned three times over

in the Bible.

“No, I am never too busy or too tired,” he said, in effect. “Allow them to come to me, and I will love

them and bless them and protect them.”

And today? Today, whatever our status, we are responsible, as those who represent Christ to this

generation, for looking after the young ones in our communities, whether in church or outside, for

there is a sense in which they all belong to all of us.

As well as shielding them from hurt and danger, we must by our example instruct them how to

survive, indeed how to win in every situation, as they develop and move towards maturity.

They see us as their role-models, and we introduce them to the one who has become our closest

friend and supporter.

Jamie, know this, that there are many evils out there, but learn, in early, formative days, to trust

Jesus. By his Spirit, he will guide and direct you always, and finally receive you into his eternal

presence. Can you understand?

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