Now His (Jesus') parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was 12 years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it. Luke 2:41-43
Clarence W. Hairston of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, Jessica Mathiau of Brattleboro, Vermont, and Jennifer Mehay of Hebron, Indiana, have one thing in common: they don't believe in drinking and driving.
Sorry, better change that to read, these folks have three things in common:
1. They all don't believe in drinking and driving.
2. They do all believe in having an underage child drive for them.
3. They all were arrested.
The most interesting of the reports tells how police pulled Mr. Hairston over. They found him sitting behind the wheel while holding a can of beer in one hand and an eight-year-old boy in the other. The boy was doing the driving. When Mr. Hairston was asked to step out of the car, he fell twice. Between sips on his 25-ounce beer, he continued to state: "I have done nothing wrong."
The only thing positive which can be said about these situations is nobody was seriously harmed by these under-aged drivers.
That being said please don't get too upset when I observe: the same kind of thing happens in church. It's true. Old Lutheran Hour Rally records share how organizers were told they could almost guarantee a good crowd if they put together a giant children's choir -- a choir that would sing after the sermon. Even back then, our leaders knew many parents would come to worship only if their children were involved, and that those families would leave worship immediately after their children were through.
Let me ask when Sunday school or parochial school children sing at your church, do parents leave with their kids after the singing is done? Or do some church families come only to the children's Christmas service and skip all the other services the rest of the year?
That seems backwards to me. When Jesus was growing up, His family made an annual visit to Jerusalem for Passover. They didn't go only because Jesus was singing in the Jerusalem boys' choir. Jesus was there because His parents were there ... not the other way around.
It ought to be no different for us. Our children learn from our actions. We need to teach that first, foremost and always Jesus is the reason God's people go to worship. We go to worship because we wish to thank and praise Him for His sacrifice which saves.
And if our children are singing in a special service, well, that's just an added bonus.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in a world that is topsy-turvy, may Christian parents teach their children that their lives ought to revolve around Jesus, who is their Savior and Lord. In His Name I pray it. Amen.
Check out Lutheran Hour Ministries' video sermon series, "Footsteps of Paul." Click here!
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries