Kids play hard, and sometimes they get banged up. The crazy part is that we stick a Band-Aid on a skinned knee and, in a week or two, they’re just fine. Bruises fade, new skin grows to cover cuts and scrapes. Their bodies are constantly growing, healing, and changing – they are constantly being made new.
From the moment we are conceived, we begin to grow and change. In fact, God knows us even before he forms us in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Thus, we are part of God’s creation before we even enter this world. From our first moments, we embark on a journey filled with excitement and challenges, and everything in between. All along the way, we have opportunities to see God at work in our lives: healing us, helping us to grow, and ultimately making us a new creation in Him.
In our childhoods, we navigate a world filled with unknowns. At first, we struggle to simply focus our eyes on the things in our immediate surroundings. We learn how to hold our heads up, roll over, and crawl. Eventually, after months of trying, we begin walking. At each stage, we as adults get front-row seats to witness God’s creative force in humanity.
When we observe children, the ways in which they change appear to be obvious. An infant becomes a toddler, who becomes a preschooler… who is suddenly ten years old! These physical changes are often paired with outward signs of spiritual growth and renewal. Their conversations about God reveal a growing understanding of a rich, complex faith. Children may be baptized or receive communion for the first time. These acts mark important milestones as children are received into the family of God.
It’s not as simple with adults. The developmental process doesn’t end in childhood; however, as we age, we have less propensity to witness spiritual renewal in relationship with physical renewal. Yet, even when we reach adulthood, our souls are still so often navigating the spiritual world as infants. We are still learning to focus our eyes on the things in our immediate surroundings. We are still learning to hold our heads up, and we are taking baby-steps in our faith.
The good news is that each time we come close to God in prayer, we grow in faith. Each time we welcome Christ into our hearts at communion, we experience Christ’s love in a tangible way. Each time we confess our sins to God and our neighbor, our souls are cleansed. We, as children of God, are growing a little more every day. Though the changes may seem more subtle or more difficult to observe, they are no less important. Rather, they bring life-giving healing and growth to our souls – we are constantly being made new.
By observing the children in our lives, and in our church family, we see God the Creator at work in the physical world. In those moments, let us be reminded of the spiritual renewal that is taking place in each of us, regardless of our age. Just as a scraped knee heals, our souls heal. The old is replaced by the new. The Band-Aid comes off, and the scar that is left behind reminds us of the transformation and change we have undergone. We are no longer who we once were: we are a new creation!
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!
– 2 Corinthians 5:17
This article was written by Children’s Minister, Becky Gleason and published in the 2017 Winter Messenger.