I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven on account of his name. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, because you have conquered the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
If you are an insomniac like me you might have seen the “infomercials” that run on certain channels late at night. Watch long enough and you will find yourself wondering how you ever managed to navigate life without a solar-powered-salad-spinner. The infomercials’ sales pitch works hard to convince you that their product is for everyone, absolutely everyone, especially you.
The writer of 1 John lets us know that Scripture is for everyone: young children, teenagers, grown-ups and those that refuse to grow up. That this is written for little children, young people and mature people. If Scripture is for everyone, then of course the Church also needs to be for everyone.
This passage goes further than inclusivity and affirms all those people; for their wisdom or faith or understanding or strength. Do we recognise what people of all ages bring to our faith families? The equally valuable contributions made by little children, young people and mature disciples?
Infomercials usually finish with a deal, an offer that goes further to make the product extra enticing. Order today and not only will you receive one patented onion carving kit, but two, and the first 100 callers will also receive a free set of hand crafted soup skewers.
We too need to go further than just recognising the gifts of everyone in our faith families, we must affirm these gifts too. We must remind those who can no longer take an active role in volunteering how valuable their prayer is to our mission. We must affirm those that do all the little jobs, without which the big plans never happen. We must show the children that they are not the future of the church but a full and vital part of it today.
Sometimes we all doubt if we are doing enough. We doubt if we are good enough disciples, dedicated enough. John’s words affirm everyone, let us hear the words of the passage and be affirmed ourselves.
Affirming God, help us to value each other, to notice each person in our church family, to recognise the value in each member of your body, to listen to every voice, and to give joyful thanks for each contribution. Amen
The Rev’d Jo Clare-Young is minster in the North Yorkshire Coast URCs
If today’s Daily Devotion is not showing on your church’s website, this will have affected all church websites using this feed in the same way. Our volunteer technical team are probably aware of the issue and will be working to fix it as soon as they are able. Thank you.