“I will utter hidden things, things from of old – things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us…we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.” (Psalm 78:2-4)
Our Church’s Sunday Club wound up its session last weekend with a Church outing and a Prize-giving service. We gave thanks to God for our children and presented them with attendance awards and their ‘Gold Star’ awards. Each week of their session every act of unprompted sharing, serving, caring and helping has been rewarded with a gold star on a chart. We reflected on the long continuity of our Sunday Club. High Blantyre Baptist Sunday School began in 1892, four years before the Church was constituted, with 250 scholars. The Superintendent and fourteen teachers then became the nucleus of the founding membership of the Church. But the Sunday School came first. We celebrated an unbroken continuity of each generation telling the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.
“He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children.” (Psalm 78:5)
We reflected on the importance of duty. At Canopy last weekend, Rev. David Richards, Rector at P and G’s in Edinburgh, said “There’s an old caricature which goes, “Methodists go to Church with a hymn book. Anglicans go to Church with a prayer book. Baptist go to Church with a Bible.” But then he asked: “Is that still true?” Is it? We have a duty to pass on God’s Word, which God commands each generation teach to their children.
“…so that the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.” (Psalm 78:6)
And finally, in our Service, we reflected on the issue of strategy. Talking to a couple of friends from our town this week I mentioned our Sunday Club prize-giving and they asked how many children we have in our Sunday Club. They were amazed at how many we have. Even before lockdowns began, their church had closed its Sunday School as there were no children coming and no-one was willing to step up and try to start one. To tell the next generation God’s wonders and words is to sow the seeds for future generations to come to faith.