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HOW DO YOU TREAT PRAISE ITEMS BY CHILDREN?

MAY 20

Matthew 21:15-16
Memorise Matthew 21:16
"Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise"

HOW DO YOU TREAT PRAISE ITEMS BY CHILDREN?

When the children saw what wonderful works Jesus did in entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, they spontaneously cried out, praising Him: "Hosanna to the Son of David"; in other words, they declared Him to be the Messiah. The chief priests and scribes were unhappy at all this, but Jesus refuted them by saying "…Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?" (Matthew 21:16b) The word ‘perfected’ in Greek is katartizo which also has the idea of mending, and is elsewhere used to describe the mending of fishing nets e.g. Matthew 4:21. Where adults do not give the praise to God as He deserves, the children shall make up for this deficiency. Note that Jesus mentions sucklings, which refer to children who are still weaning on their mothers’ breasts; thus even such young ones can realize how wonderful God is and praise Him for it.

When we witness very young children performing praise items in the sanctuary, there are a variety of different reactions. Some older ones might look with disdain assuming young children cannot perform any praise item to perfection. Some might concentrate on the performance of children that they know. I believe though that the majority reaction can be summed up in the expression: "so cute!" Have you ever realized that all these reactions are no different from those displayed by non-Christians in any secular kindergarten concert? Christ sets the example for us in how we should react to such praise items: we should instead marvel at the power of God to work in young children. When Christian parents covenant their children to the Lord during infant baptism and bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord, these children learn about God from a very young age. By the working of the Holy Spirit many accept Christ as Lord and Savior then, although at that time they may not understand the full meaning of salvation. By simple childlike faith they believe and they are saved! Just as adults praise the Lord, the children also can add their praise to complete or perfect the worship of God. Many such children spontaneously and exuberantly worship their God with loud voices both in such praise items as well as during congregational worship. Is this not a joyful noise?

Thought: Salvation is of the Lord!
Prayer: May I rejoice with thanksgiving when the children praise the Lord.