So what does that have to do with the children romping in the yard? Everything. I am who I am today because my parents thought it not only necessary but absolutely crucial to my spiritual upbringing that I be in Sunday School each week -- not for the attendance pin (my dad saw to it that I always missed at least one Sunday a year as not to receive it, because he didn't want a pin to be my goal) but because they knew the truths I learned there were foundational. And whereas I can't ever remember opposing that conviction, I'm so grateful they saw it as an important part of their parenting. Yes, I cut my teeth on the back of those little Sunday School chairs. I folded my hands in prayer and sang "Into my heart, into my heart, come into my heart, Lord Jesus..." each week. (And He did!) I learned that "Yes, Jesus loves me" as well as "all the little children of the world." Week after week, year after year, I viewed Jesus as a framed Shepherd -- a good Shepherd -- who seeks out that lost sheep and with joy brings him home resting over His shoulders. Experiences that helped me shape my view of a God who does not hide from me, but rather searches me out.
I am so thankful for those teachers who fed me the milk of His Word. "Little Nina," Mr. Boone (with his little bow-tie), Mrs. Hicks, and the list stretches on. If it weren't for them, and their saying "Yes" to serve in such a lowly but mighty way, I wonder where I would be today? Would I be struggling with issues of truth? Would I be questioning God's existence? Would I be following who knows what religion -- or just picking and choosing the part of each that works best for me?
Thanks also to you, Mom and Dad, for loving the four of us children enough to see that we were where we needed to be each Sunday morning. That you didn't take your parenting lightly when it came to that demand. That you knew Sunday School was an essential part of training us in righteousness. That we are who we are today because of the foundational truths that were implanted in us then.
The thing is this: if we needed it so desperately as children then -- some 50 years ago, how much more do children need it now in this generation? O Lord, have mercy.
Just an ordinary moment...