A Christianity Today article appeared last week regarding the shocking undercover Planned Parenthood videos. Since we have young readership, I will not get into the details, but suffice it to say, it is a serious wake-up call for conscientious people all across the political spectrum. The article describes the nature of what occurred together with some thoughts for the Church.
What is our role when we feel helpless to change things? Do you feel helpless sometimes as you witness the pain and callousness of the world? I often do.
The article describes a church that values life, especially the most vulnerable lives: it is the church that emphasizes its ministry to its children: teaching them, nurturing them, loving them, discipling them, bringing them up and initiating them into adulthood, and being a resource for these things in our community. It’s helping single parents and young people in crisis in our community–opening our homes and hearts to them.
It can never be said often enough that God works through ordinary means, the ordinary means of Word and Sacrament: preaching and teaching the Word of God and administering the sacraments of faith to His people. We are not called to change the world. That is God’s job. We are called to be a place in Southwest Houston that furthers His Kingdom by ordinary means.
A big part of our ordinary work is education for our children and youth. This is our work here at St. Thomas’ and this is something I really need your help to accomplish. We need our children and youth to know God’s Word. This is why we need more time for Sunday School, as our new schedule, beginning September 20th, gives us. We need our children and youth to understand the Faith and to understand worship. This is what Children’s Church, which includes catechesis, will help us achieve.
What is catechesis? It is simply the oral transmission of the Faith–the teaching of the Faith that is centrally located in the Gospel, the Apostles’ Creed, the Ten Commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer. It is nothing strange or foreign, just a way of learning the Christian faith that unfortunately fell into disuse as Christianity in the West became complacent.
When we do God’s ordinary work of ministry to children, there is no confetti and no election night celebration. You will not get to ride on Air Force One and absorb a nation’s adulation. There is no transcendent and heady victory other than the return of Christ in God’s own time. The Wall Street Journal will not write an article about you. There is only a teacher, a student, and the only message that ever eternally mattered. Child by child, the Kingdom of God grows and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.