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Respected Achen, parents, children, and my friends. Jesus Christ, the greatest teacher of all, loved children dearly. In Matthew Chapter 18 verse 6, Jesus said for “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Today, December 5th, our church is celebrating Sunday school day, and it’s the perfect time to stop and reflect on the true importance of Sunday school/ in the lives of the children of our congregation,/ the future of our church. Whether we acknowledge it or not, today’s world can be a very dangerous place, with sin and bad influences surrounding us/ almost everywhere we go. In this world, Sunday school acts as a safe place where children can create strong ties and friendships/ with their peers/ and with Jesus Christ. Beyond this role, Sunday school has Five Key responsibilities that it fulfills in our children, and we’ll look at each of these responsibilities separately today.
The first and simplest task of Sunday school is/ to teach the Bible to our children. We learn about God’s love as we hear its stories and parables. When most people are asked, “What is the most important thing children learn in Sunday school?” the answer is often “the Bible.” In Sunday school, children develop a Christian understanding of the purposes of Scripture. Through these experiences with the Bible in Sunday school, they learn to recognize God’s call to them.
The second task of Sunday school is to help us accept God’s grace. Knowing facts from the Bible is not enough. In fact, many non-Christians know more about the Bible than some of us who are Christians. Therefore, knowledge of the Bible doesn’t create Christians. What impels a person to become a Christian is the belief that the words of the Bible are God’s message to us. It is the recognition that God’s love shown through Jesus Christ is real. It is the acceptance of God’s saving grace offered through Jesus Christ that enables one to become the person God created him or her to be.
Thirdly, Sunday school helps us grow in Christian faith. Christian faith becomes a reality when the lessons of the Bible and our personal experiences of God’s love inspire us to love God and to trust God’s guidance, as we make decisions about our lives each day. Christians want to learn more about Jesus’ teachings and discover the gifts of God that come through the Holy Spirit. Christians also want to turn their full attention to learning more about what it means to live as a person of faith. They aren’t satisfied simply knowing the Bible and believing in God; instead Christians want to grow in their understanding of God’s purposes. They want their relationship with God to grow deeper day by day and year by year.
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The fourth responsibility that Sunday School holds is to guide our children to become mature members of a Christian community. Sunday school teaches us that the ability to grow in relationship to God is possible only in fellowship with other Christians. Although Christians value time alone in prayer and communion with God, we also welcome times to praise God and give thanks for God’s gracious love/ in worship and prayer with one another. Through the bond of Christian relationship that develops, Christians strengthen one another so that they are able to carry their experience of God’s presence and love/ into the activities of their everyday lives.
Last and certainly not least, the ultimate task that Sunday school strives to meet is to help its students answer God’s Call to Christian living. Living a Christian life does not come automatically. It comes through study, worship, and learning together. When people learn to follow the example of Jesus Christ, they become Christian examples, revealing the love of God through their own actions at home, at work, at play, or anywhere they may be. Sunday school builds a yearning to follow the example of Jesus, which leads Christians to recognize the needs of others and to seek ways to serve in God’s name.
However, Sunday school should not be the end of our religious education. Sunday school is only the beginning for children and youth in their lifelong process of learning, growing, and serving in Christ. Christian education is a never-ending process that is enabled in Christian community, as Christians continue to study, worship, and serve together. The lessons of Christian education make it possible for us to practice love and to live as children of God. How well we learn those lessons day by day will determine what kind of church we are Sunday by Sunday.
Ultimately, fostering and nourishing our Sunday school is a sacred responsibility. To give our religious education less than our best would be unfaithful to the life God has called us to live and to the world God has called us to serve. If there is ever a generation somewhere, sometime, that does not know the power of God’s love, it will be because some generation did not continue to teach and learn. The greatest gift that our church has to offer to the children is the strong faith that has been passed down through the generations, so let’s take this day to appreciate just how important Sunday school is for the future of our congregation.
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