I plead the Fifth. No, not the Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights.
I plead the fifth. No, not a bottle of wine or alcohol.
I plead the Fifth. The Fifth Commandment. You know:
Most of us pass quickly over this verse so we can get to the good parts. So let's take a closer look at verse 12.
The term "honor" or "honour" in Old English is not just a fleeting sentiment; it encompasses displaying profound respect and public regard while adhering to what is right and acceptable in conduct. Showing high respect or regard is more than just when you are face to face in your parents' presence. It is also important when you are away from them out in public. The second half of the definition is key. Adhering to what is right, an accepted standard of conduct is the greatest way to honor your parents whether you are with them or not. You bring great honor to your father and mother in all that you say and do when you do what is right.
Now, let's consider what constitutes doing the right thing and maintaining an accepted standard of conduct. To find this answer, we can look at the surrounding verses (verses 3-11 and 13-17) of the Fifth Commandment. These verses outline God's accepted standard, which stands unparalleled.
Micah sums the 10 Commandments up this way: "He has told you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8.
Jesus summed it up this way: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 23:37-39.
Do you want to bring honor upon your father and mother? Then do what God has said is right to the very best of your ability. And God has promised that you will live long in the land that He has given to you.
The church is not merely a place of worship but also a nurturing ground for spiritual growth and community building. While the idea of children serving in the church may seem unconventional, their involvement can play a significant role in fostering their faith, instilling valuable life lessons, and strengthening the bond of the congregation.
This last week our 1st-5th graders had opportunities to serve in the church and community while participating in day camp. The children learned the importance of encouraging others in our community by partnering with Tenaciously Teal to make cards for care packages that go to women battling cancer. We got to also serve the community and our church family by helping work at the Parent's Day Out program. This gave our children a great opportunity to love younger kids and help our teachers get their job done.
Building a Foundation of Faith
Encouraging children to actively participate in church activities allows them to develop a strong foundation of faith. Serving provides them with opportunities to witness firsthand the power of prayer, experience the joy of worship, and observe the teachings of Scripture in action. Engaging in acts of service enables children to develop a personal relationship with God, deepening their understanding of His love and grace.
Cultivating Responsibility and Empathy
Involving children in church service and activities instills a sense of responsibility and empathy within them. Assisting with tasks such as preparing communion, greeting newcomers, or participating in community outreach programs, such as our upcoming Be the Church Sunday, enables them to understand the importance of their contribution to the church community. This cultivates empathy as they learn to recognize the needs of others and the value of lending a helping hand.
Fostering Mentorship and Leadership
When children serve in the church, they have the opportunity to interact with older members of the congregation who can serve as mentors. These relationships provide guidance and wisdom, helping young ones develop a strong moral compass and encouraging them to become future leaders. As children witness the commitment and dedication of these role models, they are inspired to take on leadership roles themselves, fueling their personal and spiritual growth. For me personally, this kind of relationship is what kept me going to church as a teenager and young adult when my family stopped going to church every week. Knowing that I always had someone to sit with or someone that would ask about me if I wasn’t there made a huge difference.
Strengthening the Congregation
Children’s involvement in the church strengthens the entire congregation. Their fresh perspectives, genuine enthusiasm, and authentic faith inject vitality into the church community. Jesus himself said “let the children come to me.” The children bring an excitement with them that can be contagious. This intergenerational interaction nurtures a sense of belonging, forging lifelong relationships within the church family.
This summer the children were tasked with memorizing eight scriptures. Two of the children completed the challenge and will be recognized on stage this Sunday. Join us in congratulating Isabella Smith and Landon Lambert for completing the challenge!!
Involving children in church service has profound benefits for both the children and the congregation as a whole. By actively participating in church activities, children build a solid foundation of faith, develop a sense of responsibility and empathy, and gain valuable leadership skills. Their involvement also strengthens the church community by infusing it with youthful energy and fostering intergenerational bonds.
As we encourage our children to serve in the church, we pave the way for a vibrant and united congregation, deeply rooted in faith and love. With our upcoming "Be the Church Sunday" event on August 13th. I want to encourage you to not only sign up to volunteer yourself, but think of an area where you and your children can volunteer together. Whether it is handing out lunch, backpacks, assisting with crafts, or simply walking around and praying with families, there is something for our children to do that day and every day in the church.
The weekend following the fourth of July holiday my family and I went to see the movie Sound of Freedom. It is based on the true story of federal agent Tim Ballard and his fight against child trafficking and the attempts he embarks upon to stop the illicit trade. Ballard is played by Jim Caviezel, who played the starring role of Jesus in the 2004 film The Passion of the Christ. The film produced by Angel Studios also produced the hit series The Chosen. Their mission is to produce movies, shows, and content that “amplify light” and promote hope. Their definition of light is that which is true, honest, noble, just, authentic, lovely, admirable, and excellent. They offer a free streaming platform you can watch movies, shows, and documentaries for all ages.
You can find more information on this at their website angel.com. Sound of Freedom was released July 4th and has already made a whopping $41 million dollars! I urge you all to see it. Hopefully, by the time of this publication it is still available to see in theaters, but if not please find a platform to stream it on. It is a must see film that will grip and move you on a topic that might just be the biggest threat to human rights facing us in present day.
Human trafficking is the second largest illicit industry in the world, second only to the drug trade! Forty million people are being trafficked globally with 25% of that number children. Forms of child trafficking include forced marriage, begging, sweatshops, pornography, migrant farming, domestic labor, sex tourism, and armed soldiers (commonly known as child soldiers). Sex trafficking is the most common form of trafficking in the U.S. Seventy-two percent of detected survivors were trafficked for sexual exploitation. Seventy-eight percent of the seventy million CSAM (child sexual abuse material) files in 2019 were children under the age of 12. Fifty-three percent of males trafficked into sexual exploitation are children. Child trafficking has been reported in all 50 states. The United States is the biggest consumer of child trafficking in the world. Let that sink in.
This issue should be an alarming concern for us Christians, one that calls us into action. Jesus says in Mathew 18,
“ If anyone causes one of these little ones-those who believe in me-to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
He goes on to give a stern warning in Matthew 25:31-46 of how we are to treat the marginalized of our society, and that by doing these actions we are in turn doing them for Christ himself. What, if not marginalized, are victims of human trafficking? Jesus’ specialty while walking on earth were the marginalized. By joining in the fight of this evil trade we not only help save children and adults from the horrors they find themselves in, but also bring the light of hope that is Jesus. We can spread His love and grace to these victims that might never hear or know of Jesus while in captivity.
There are many ways to join the fight, from community awareness to financial contributions, and there are many wonderful organizations fighting this evil. I urge our CCY family to look into these organizations, see the movie, and begin to have conversations with others on this topic. Do not turn from it because it's a hard and heavy subject, for remember
“ Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” (the words of Jesus Matthew 25:45)
Join us on August 13th for an incredible opportunity to make a difference in our community at the "Back to School Bash" 2023!
We're excited to announce that we are moving our Christ's Closet event to a Sunday morning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During this time, we will open the "CLOSET" to serve the community in various ways. We'll be giving away clothes and backpacks filled with school supplies, providing free meals for all, offering haircuts for those in need, and more!
This event falls on the Sunday just before the new school year starts, making it even more special. We encourage all of you to join us, worship together, and serve side by side. To ensure smooth coordination, we'll have an electronic sign-up sheet where you and your family can commit to a specific area of ministry. Don't worry about childcare; we'll have arrangements in place for volunteers.
Our day will begin with an early morning service at 9 a.m., and we extend a warm invitation to the community to join us. Together, we'll engage in worship, listen to a message suitable for all ages, and partake in a special communion moment.
To accommodate everyone, we request that all Christ's church members park at the former Family Video, La Petite Academy daycare, or Swartz Ready mix company, all located east of the church buildings. This way, we can free up space for our community friends to park easily. Registration for "The Bash" will begin at 8 a.m. that day. If some of you can arrive early, we'd appreciate the help in setting up awnings and preparing specific areas. Dress comfortably for an outdoor setup and feel free to bring lawn chairs too.
Let's come together and make this a powerful day, glorifying God as we demonstrate our love for Him and our community. We hope to see you all there!
In Christ's love and for our community,