The Heartbeat
"Yea, have ye never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou has perfected praise?'" – Matthew 21:16b

When our children were young, Ruth and I were in a small group that met several times each month for many years. Part of our meetings always included a time of singing with the children. It was there that I learned "Father Abraham" – a children's song that began with the words, "Father Abraham had many sons; many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them, and so are you, so let's just praise the Lord…" This was an action filled song that included having the children using their arms and legs to help emphasize various points. The words, "I am one of them, and so are you" fit with how we viewed our children, for although we believed (and still believe) in the need for personal repentance, faith and conversion, we viewed our children as part of our "covenant community." That didn't mean we believed all our children were saved, but we certainly did believe that these little ones were set apart (made holy, see 1 Corinthians 7:14) unto the hearing of the gospel.

When Jesus came into Jerusalem that Sunday before his crucifixion and at that time received the praise of the people, many children were among those expressing praise to Jesus. This was offensive to the Jewish religious leaders, and it was at that time that Jesus quoted from Psalm 8:2 the line that you see at the head of this article. Did all those children understand what they were saying? Probably not. For undoubtedly there were in Jesus' day children just like some of the children within our small group from years later who at the time were exclaiming they were "sons of Abraham and so are you" and yet today seem far from God and faith in Christ. If Jesus knew that to be the case, why did he accept their praise? That is, if he knew that the praise from these children was not necessarily coming from a committed heart (and just how much can a babe – a suckling – commit to anything?) then why did he accept it and defend it? Because praise for Jesus, regardless from who it may be coming, is rightly directed praise. And maybe the fact that children can offer praise with an element of innocence that adults simply cannot underscores God's deeming of it as "perfected" praise.

This morning we are going to hear children – some of them quite young – sing songs of praise to our Father and to His Son. Do they fully comprehend what they are singing about? No, but then who does? Our sincere hope is that they will never turn from this morning's words of praise. May they never become agnostics or atheists. May they never be deceived by our enemy. May they continue in their lives of faith in Christ until the day they die. But even if they do not, their praise this morning will forever remain "perfected praise." For that is what God has ordained it to be and that is what Jesus has said it is. So do enjoy it.

Upcoming Events

Adult Sunday School
22 May 2022 - 09:00AM
Worship Service
22 May 2022 - 10:30AM
Prayer Meeting
25 May 2022 - 07:00PM
Adult Sunday School
29 May 2022 - 09:00AM
Worship Service
29 May 2022 - 10:30AM