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I think we can all understand Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and even Grandparent’s Day because those days are set aside to honor people who are older, wiser, more mature, and who have likely invested heavily in our lives.
But children tend to be the least mature, least productive, noisiest, messiest, and most disobedient people in the home. What exactly are we celebrating?
Those are fair questions.
And — if you don’t personally have children — you’re even more nonplussed than the rest about this holiday.
But, my friends, this holiday is just as valuable as the rest. And — whether you have children or not — you should stay with us so that you too can learn to celebrate God on Children’s Day.
But — before we do that — please give us a rating and or review. Ratings are super easy to leave, reviews only take a couple minutes of sincere thought, but they both are very valuable, and we would greatly appreciate your feedback.
But it’s not just your positive feedback we want. If you cannot in good conscience leave a 5-star review, I hope you’ll send us an email and let us know how we can celebrate God better with this podcast.
And — don’t forget — we have free episode notes and transcripts available at CelebrationOfGod.com.
Now, Children’s Day is the first holiday in the Season of Power. It is a one day celebration that occurs on the second Sunday in June.
But I think we need to start by answering why International Children’s Day is included in The Year Long Celebration of God in the first place.
1. God deserves our worship on the second Sunday in June.
As I’ve said many times before, there is no nanosecond of our existence that God does not deserve preeminence. Everything we believe, think, desire, feel, say, and do should be an act of worship to Him.
And that’s the goal of The Year Long Celebration of God; we’re learning to offer God a perpetual sacrifice of self.
It’s a very hard goal — one we will not do perfectly until we reach glory — but since God is infinitely worth it, His followers — of course — want to do their dead-level best here and now. Not only that, but true disciples of Christ always want to grow in their worship of God.
That means that all born again Christians should worship God on the second Sunday in June regardless of whether or not they observe Children’s Day.
But is there any good reason for a Christian to observe Children’s Day in particular?
2. Children’s Day helps us worship God in a unique way.
I mentioned a few episodes back that John Calvin believed that those of us who are in Christ should be celebrating Christ’s godhead, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and lordship every day of the year. And I agree with our good friend, John, on that point.
But I believe there’s value in emphasizing certain attributes of God during different parts of the year.
Why do I believe that? Well, practically — since God is infinite — we can’t adore all that He is every day. It’s impossible because there isn’t enough time, and it’s impossible because we’re finite beings.
I firmly believe that Dr. Calvin didn’t celebrate the entirety of God’s person every day of the year not because he didn’t see the importance of it, and not because he didn’t want to, but because he was a finite mortal bound by time. So, is there value in John Calvin focusing today on the attributes of God he missed yesterday? Of course!
The second reason to worship God within the context of Children’s Day is The Celebration of God is patterned after God’s own plan for worship. I can just imagine Calvin trying to convince the Jews that Passover was an unnecessary holiday because they should all be celebrating the Exodus from Egypt every day of the year.
Not only would that be contemptible to the Jews, but we must realize that part of the reason such a suggestion would be contemptible is that God Himself ordained the Passover observance. It was God Who said, I want you to focus on certain of My divine attributes and miraculous deeds during different times of the year.
Does that mean the Passover was the most important thing God had ever done for the Jews? No, but it was something God wanted them to take a day to observe.
That means that each of the holidays within The Celebration of God give us a unique opportunity to focus on another very important attribute or accomplishment of God.
Now, we’ll talk about those specifics momentarily, but the final reason we encourage followers of Christ to worship God with Children’s Day is . . .
3. God has so many expectations for adults when it comes to how they interact with children.
In the same way that Pentecost helps me remember and refocus on the gift of the church and my responsibilities as a citizen of God’s Kingdom, and in the same way that Creation Week helps me remember and rededicate to fulfilling the Creation Mandate, and in the same way all of the holidays should reignite in my mind the importance of the Christian life on which I happen to be focusing, Children’s Day is an extremely important day to remind me about God’s expectations for how I live amongst and minister to the children in my life.
This includes children who are related to me and those who aren’t.
So, there you have three fantastic ways you can worship God on the second Sunday in June.
Do you have to celebrate Children’s Day to glorify God? No, not necessarily. But do all Christians have to worship God by submitting to His expectations for how we serve children? Definitely.
So, let’s take the remainder of our time to discuss how we can prepare for, celebrate, and disciple during International Children’s Day.
The best way to prepare our hearts to worship God well is to meditate on His Word and talk with Him in prayer.
As always, you can go to CelebrationOfGod.com, click on holidays, and select Children’s Day in order to find a Bible Reading specifically focused on what God has to say about kids.
As you meditate on those passages you will hopefully be able to better appreciate why God chose to have mankind progress from child to adult. You should also discover important realities concerning how the Lord would have you minister to the children in your lives. And you should also appreciate how much we have to learn from children.
Therefore, take time to prepare your heart, your spaces, and your disciplees by dedicating careful study to the value God puts on children.
But there’s one more thing you need to do. Sometime before Children’s Day arrives, take stock of the children in your life.
You may be a single man, but — I guarantee — there are children in your church; children whom the Lord would have you influence for the Kingdom.
Any and all children whom God has intersect with your day are children before whom God wants you to be salt and light. If that child is a professing believer, God also would have you participate in the one-anothers with them.
Compiling this list of kids whom God has brought across the path of your life may be extremely eye-opening.
On one hand you may be surprised exactly how many kids are in your life and wonder how you missed them.
On the other, you may legitimately discover that there are very few or no children in your life. If that’s the case, I would be concerned.
Why? Well, if you’re part of thriving local body of born again believers and there are no children in the church, that would be very anomalous. Is it possible such a childless group exists all to the glory of God? I’m sure it’s possible, but — statistically speaking — it would be rare indeed.
All of that to say, whether you realize it or not, there are children in your life, and — since there are children in your life — God would have you minister to them as well.
Obviously, we should spend time reading, talking about, and learning from God’s Word.
We should also dedicate time to thanking God for the family, thanking Him for the gift of children, and thanking Him for giving us the child/adult dynamic which is designed to mirror God’s relationship with us.
In addition to private and public reading of God’s Word and prayer, here are some fun ways you can celebrate Children’s Day, and — guess what — they all involve children.
This is why it’s important to take stock of who these kids will be.
Now, before I go any further, I know there’s this really huge elephant in the room wearing a pink tutu and juggling neon disco balls.
One of the most important carnal concerns about ministering to children is having their parent’s approval. Do you need a parent’s permission to glorify God in your relationship with a child? Technically, no.
Let’s say an unregenerate parent doesn’t want you sharing the Gospel with her child who happens to be one of your piano students. Well, that’s right up there with governmental powers telling Christians they’re not allowed to preach the Gospel. And to that I echo the words of Peter, “We must obey God rather than man.”
And, yes, that may mean the parent pulls the child from piano just like it meant that the apostles were beaten and thrown into prison for preaching the Gospel.
I admit, this is a delicate balance, and I’m not going to pretend to know the right answer for every person in every situation. But, the point I’m trying to make from a biblical perspective is that I must always glorify God in my relationship with everyone in my life — including children — regardless of what anyone else may think.
However, it is a legitimate carnal concern that we have parent’s permission before engaging their kids. We live in a slanderous, litigious culture. You may have had the best intentions, but dad and mom didn’t like it.
Let me give you a simple example. You may think it’s a wonderful idea to hand out candy to the children in your church. And the thought was sweeter than the candy itself, but if a parent doesn’t want their kid eating candy or eating that kind of candy or eating that kind of candy at that moment, you’re actually sinning against the parent and the child.
Nowhere in Scripture does it say you have to give kids candy, but it does tell children to obey their parents. Encouraging them to eat candy their parents have forbidden is to sin against the parents and the child.
In reference to a crowd of children around him, Jesus said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
The candy isn’t worth it.
Therefore, if how you’re trying to minister to the child isn’t specifically outlined in Scripture, it will always be in everyone’s best interest for you to get dad and mom’s permission.
So, with that said . . .
On International Children’s Day, you could put together a special treat for the kids in your class, church, or small group. It may be edible, it may be a trinket, it may be a craft, or — better yet — it may be a token that teaches them about God and draws their minds to worship Him.
You could also throw a party and invite the children and parents in your life to attend. At that party you could explain why you’re doing it. You could tell them about God and how much He loves children and how honored you are to have them in your life. And then you could play games and have a great time.
That would be a wonderful community event for a church. Imagine setting up some outdoor games and events and providing everyone who comes a gift bag which contains — among other things — Gospel tracts and information about the church’s children’s programs. A special time could also be scheduled to share the Gospel from Matthew 18 where Jesus says, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me.”
But — whatever you do — if you truly want to glorify God on Children’s Day, you need to make it about Him. This isn’t just an excuse to play and eat so that I can consume more sugar and fun for my own pleasure.
We need to be intentional to give the glory to God and help the children better know, love, and serve Him.
And that leads us to . . .
If our celebration is truly going to glorify God on Children’s Day, it’s going to involve investing in other people. This discipleship relationship can definitely be with the children to whom you’re ministering, but it can also be other people who too should be investing in the kids.
Maybe there’s an eighteen year old who doesn’t like little kids because he finds them annoying. Take him under your wing and help him understand God’s expectations for his life.
Maybe you can coordinate a group of young singles to host the church’s Children’s Day event, and help them realize that they have far more opportunities than they realized to serve the next generation.
There are so many possibilities, and the second greatest command is that God’s people love each other . . . that we do what’s in God’s best interest for their lives. And it’s in God’s best interest for me to obey Him by discipling them and being discipled by them.
I hope you and yours have a great Children’s Day this June. I pray that many young eyes will be pointed to Christ and that many young hearts will be drawn to Him because of the investment you and your disciplees will make in their lives.
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets so that others can get serious about ministering to the next generation, and join us next time as we learn to celebrate God better.
To that end we plan to discuss another family holiday . . . Father’s Day!
The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.