As children of God we have blessed assurance
3 MINUTE READ
Recent news, from Australia and overseas, has been heartbreaking. COVID-19 surges and deaths1,2, children in ICU3, lockdowns, restrictions, and borders4 keeping families apart, Taliban taking over Afghanistan and children orphaned5, and an increase in mental health concerns6,7, have dominated our news.
Personally these last few months, my heart has ached for a friend’s baby who had her surgery cancelled for the second time due to COVID-19; a child who suddenly passed away due to cerebral aneurysm; and families with special needs children who have been in a seemingly endless cycle of restrictions and lockdowns.
All these occurrences contradict what we would normally associate with children and childhood. The cliché suggesting that children grow slowly and so we have plenty of time to introduce them to Jesus, no longer rings true. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, an unprecedented urgency has set in, and our lives have become more chaotic, more unpredictable, and seemingly, more fragile.
It’s a timely reminder that we have only limited time on this earth and so we need to make the best use of the time we have.
Dr Andy Williams’s article on “Parenting in a self-centred world” and Dr Li Qing Wong’s article on “How do we nurture our children for a lifelong relationship with God?” aptly remind us to check our priorities; while Dr Paul Mercer’s “With eyes wide open” challenges us to look beyond the obvious and consider new perspectives.
“Loving the little children of God: discipleship in the church family” by Emily Mikelsons paints a vivid picture that evangelism and discipleship begin with children, in Christian homes and children’s ministries. Evangelism and discipleship training should not be age restricted. We are never too young or too old to be children of God.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, an unprecedented urgency has set in, and our lives have become more chaotic, more unpredictable, and seemingly, more fragile”.
As children of God (John 1:12), adopted into God’s family (Ephesians 1:5), we are to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28: 19-20) in order to help others know God as their Heavenly Father, Lord and Saviour, and together “make a big deal out of God”8 in our everyday lives, worshipping God, praying to God, and being joyful and thankful in Him (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18).
Dr Kathryn Thacker gives us glimpses into the lives of special children, the miracles witnessed and her acknowledgement of our Heavenly Father at work. Dr Nathan Combs’ “The love of the Father” is a touching tribute to children, all children, being a gift from God (Psalm 127:3). Dr Sam Chan, in his characteristic humorous style, brings our attention to the perfect child of God – baby Jesus, human dignity and, um, poo, in his article, “Kiddo, one day you’ll be changing my nappies”.
We are living in unpredictable times, but as children of God, we have blessed assurance. Doesn’t that make you want to “Give thanks to the Lord because He is good. His faithful love continues forever” (Psalm 136:1) and tell everyone about Jesus and about God’s gift of salvation?
In this issue of Luke’s Journal, we are truly blessed with great contributions from many children of God. What distinguishes this issue in particular are the contributions from God-loving little artists, aged 3yo-14yo, who provided some of the artworks that accompany the articles. Thanks to their efforts our articles are delightfully embellished. Take time to enjoy the work of these little hands, and you’ll discover that their “pictures speak a thousand words”.
Now, shall we enjoy a cuppa and start exploring “Children of God”?
Dr Annetta Tsang Dr Annetta Tsang is a member of the Luke’s Journal editorial team. She works as a paediatric dentist and an academic editor. Annetta is also a sessional staff member at Bond University. Annetta is involved in children’s ministry at her church and loves spending time with her family. Art, books, desserts and coffee are some of her favourite things.
- “More than 200 young kids diagnosed with COVID-19 in one weekend” Alexandra Smith. The Sydney Morning Herald. August 22, 2021. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/as-more-than-200-primary-kids-get-a-covid-diagnosis-in-one-weekend-hazzard-says-it-s-too-early-to-talk-about-school-20210822-p58kwt.html
- “NSW records 1,220 COVID-19 cases and eight deaths” Paige Cockburn. ABC News. September 7, 2021. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-07/nsw-records-1220-covid19-cases-eight-deaths/100439846
- “’Nobody is safe’: Baby in hospital with COVID as ICU admissions continue to rise” Summer Woolley. 7 News. August 23, 2021. https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/baby-in-hospital-with-covid-as-icu-admissions-continue-to-rise-c-3756270
- “Families separated by barriers on Father’s Day as COVID splits two states” Kimberley Bernard. ABC News. September 5, 2021. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-05/qld-covid-families-separated-fathers-day/100435400
- “If you can’t take us, take our children, plead crowd outside Kabul airport” Roland Oliphant. The Telegraph UK. August 19, 2021. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/08/19/trapped-rock-hard-place/
- “’Complex and quite ambiguous loss’ what Covid has done to our mental health” Calla Wahlquist. The Guardian. September 5, 2021. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/sep/05/complex-and-quite-ambiguous-loss-what-covid-has-done-to-our-mental-health
- “Mental health of young adults ‘most affected’ by COVID-19 restrictions” Kate Bettes. UNSW Newsroom. August 23, 2021. https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/business-law/mental-health-young-adults-most-affected-covid-19-restrictions
- Lucado, M. Cure for the Common Life. USA: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2011.