The Purpose of New Church Education

"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:13-16).

In the gospel of Mark, parents brought little children to the Lord so that He might touch them. The disciples rebuked the parents, thinking, apparently, that the Lord was too important to be bothered with children. But the Lord said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God." The Lord cares deeply about the upbringing of children, and He calls on us to care too.

The main purpose of New Church education is to help children learn, love, and live the teachings of the Lord God Jesus Christ as revealed in the Old and New Testaments and the Heavenly Doctrines of the New Jerusalem. We introduce young people to the Lord and to spiritual life so that they can become loving, wise, and useful human beings. This way of learning has far-reaching effects, preparing children for a life of purpose and meaning in this world and laying the foundations for a heavenly life in the next world.

We are all called to participate in this use, to be part of the Lord's team for teaching His children. The Lord told us, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). In a similar phrase, He also said, "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14). We might feel discomfort with these words. The Lord is the Source of all wisdom--the beacon of truth in a dark world. But these words tell us that we also have something of value to offer, we have a part to play in bringing light to the world. Not only that, we have a responsibility to do our best to bring that truth to life. For He also said, "Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).