The below is a devotion from a Pastor that I felt was well-worth sharing! I hope you feel the same and share it with others too.
Would it surprise you if I said that our country is not a particularly welcoming place for children? According to the Children’s Defense Fund, more than 3 million incidents of child abuse are reported every year in America. Some 1,500 children a year die of child abuse in our country. There are about 250 abortions for every 1,000 live births in our country, for a total of about 1.2 million abortions a year. Our society is even less welcoming to those who have developmental disabilities. Over 90% of children who are diagnosed with Down Syndrome through prenatal tests are aborted.
What would Jesus have to say about this? One day, Jesus sat down and taught his disciples to value those whom society fails to value. He took a little child into his arms and said, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me” (Mark 9:37).
If Jesus came to your house, would you ignore him? Would you treat him rudely? I think not. If Jesus came to visit, we would welcome him with open arms and treat him with respect and hospitality. As Jesus holds that little child in his arms, he wants us to know that he comes to visit us quiet frequently. He comes in the guise of a child, especially those children whom society devalues and who need our help and care. Yes, children make noise. And they make messes. And they cost money. But our Savior says that when we welcome them, we welcome him.
Children with special needs require an even greater amount of our time, our attention, and our care. But Jesus reminds us that we are doing noble work when we care for them. Jesus came to save them as he came to save us all. He came to live a sinless life in their place and gave his life for them when he died on the cross. May the power of Jesus’ love for us all move us to value these children not only by letting them live, but by caring for them and bringing them to know Jesus’ amazing love for them too.
Lord Jesus, when you walked this earth, you showed tender compassion to all and especially to those with special needs. Help us reflect your compassion, as we strive to serve children with developmental disabilities. Give us wisdom, patience, and the resources to care for them. Help us also to share the good news of forgiveness and eternal life with them in ways that they can understand. Encourage us with your promise that whatever we do for them, we do for you. In your saving name we pray. Amen.
Pastor Jonathan Kehren
Hope Lutheran Church