September 27, 2010
And they were bringing even their babies to Jesus so that He might touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all.” Luke 18:15-17
Perhaps you’ve heard of the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger program, which offers on-site activities in our parks to primary and secondary students (although many parents do them too!). Junior Rangers complete activities during their park visit, share their answers with a grown-up park ranger, and receive a Junior Ranger badge or patch plus a certificate. There’s even a new Junior Ranger song!
I just found out there’s also an online version of the program as well, called WebRangers. The site says it’s “for kids of all ages,” and has more than fifty games to play to learn more about the national park system. Participants (and there are over 132,000 of them so far) also earn WebRangers patches. I went to the site and it looks fun!
I’ve said it before—I’m all for anything that gets the younger generation excited about and involved with the parks. We’ll be passing on their care to them, and it’s never too early to introduce the two.
Just as it’s never too early to introduce a child to God. Deuteronomy 6:7 says to communicate God’s love and commands from our hearts to theirs morning, noon and night, in every situation. Doesn’t matter whether those children are in your home, your neighborhood or your church—tell them early and often, because according to a 2004 Barna survey, most Christians come to faith when they’re young, most often before their 18th birthday (64%).
But keep in mind, God’s kingdom—that is, the presence of God on earth in the person of Jesus—is, just like the WebRangers program, open to “kids of all ages.” Entrance involves repentance (Matthew 4:17), righteousness (Matthew 5:20) and childlike faith (Matthew 18:3) for all, no matter what their age.
So—be a kid again! Sign up and find out what activities the Chief Ranger has for you to do.
‘Cause He’s got a new song for us (Revelation 5:9), and—isn’t it great!—even a reward (Revelation 22:12)!