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The Power of Heritage

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray.

Matthew 19:13 ESV

It is a true saying that no one really knows what is going on in the heart of another. We may view the circumstances in a person’s life, but it is impossible to comprehend the context of the moment in which they are living. When parents brought children to Jesus, no one, including the disciples, understood the significance of that moment in Jesus’s life. He was at the end of his ministry. He had been rejected by the Jewish authorities, ignored by Rome, misunderstood by the multitudes, and the disciples themselves seemed clueless as to the reason he came. On top of all that he was days away from facing his death on the cross. It was in the midst of internal and external struggle that the children were brought to him. Pushing past the objection of his disciples, it is a beautiful thing that Jesus took them up in his arms. Why did those parents bring their children of Jesus? Most of them would never remember it.

When I was a young teenager in the early 1970s, my parents took me to visit my aunt Minnie. Minnie Saxton over 100 years old. I remember her sitting in a chair with a peanut butter sandwich in front of her. She was a little lady with no teeth, and so, she sat there gumming her sandwich to death. I was only there for a few moments, but I remember the scene and recently I understood the significance of that encounter. While looking at an old family photograph taken in the 1890s, it dawned on me that aunt Minnie, then a twenty-year-old, was born not more than five years after the end of the Civil War. In that moment, I was privy to a touch of history and connected to a heritage that now means something to me.

The children that Jesus touched and prayed over were clueless to the moment. The significance of that moment, though, no doubt had a great impact later in their lives. Imagine being in the early church, as a follower of Jesus, and knowing that you once sat on his lap and were held by him in your infancy or childhood. What those parents did in bringing their children to Jesus took root later on in their lives.

When you take your children to Sunday school and church, when you read the Bible to your little ones, and when you live out Jesus in the home, you are creating a heritage for your children. It may not appear as though it makes any impact on their lives, but it does. We hinder children from coming to Jesus when we do not plant within them, at a very early age, the importance of being involved in a church and being members of a godly home. We cannot do anything to stop the fires that are burning in our nation, but we can light a fire in our children for Jesus.

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