Why would a church participate in Child Abuse Awareness Month?
This is why.
“Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’ ” What Jesus teaches about God and worship is this–love God first. The way to do this is not specified. But loving our neighbor as we do ourselves (assuming we are fond of ourselves) is highlighted as the natural evidence of loving God. So worship can be singing, but worship can also be loving others or, in this case, protecting children.
Since Jesus’s worldview connects loving God to loving others, we keep a close eye on the brokenness in the world. As the body of Christ, we will not leave the responsibility for spreading hope or raising awareness for human suffering to public service announcements. For too long we have said, “Let others do it.” But why would God’s people pass up the opportunity to stand with children and to advocate for safe homes?
One way to love our neighbors, especially our neighbors who are children and who have no voice, is to draw attention to the need to keep children safe. Our way of doing this is to plant pinwheels. That’s not all we do, but it is a start, a visible start. The mission of the church is to promote Jesus’s worldview, and his view was to “let the children come.”
Life can be stressful for families. Raising children is a challenge, and no parent is perfect. So our prayer this month is not simply for the safety of children, but for the home, for parents to find more peace, for children to cooperate more, and for our homes will be places where when our patience is tested, we love as Jesus would love.