1 Corinthians 15:24-26 "Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death."
In catechism, we learn that Jesus delivers from sin, death and the devil. But when we are young, sometimes they are just words, sometimes it may seem that they are very distant problems. The devil, well, when we are young, it is sometimes hard to imagine that something we canít see can be much of a problem. And just as we canít see the devil, neither can we see sin and death, and in our mind we begin to say, Oh, those are problems old people have. So when I get old, 25, or 30, then it will be good to know about Jesus, because he will deliver me from those problems.
And one day, we look and see that we have become old, 25 or 30, and if we have problems, they donít look to us like they have much to do with sin, death and the devil. So we can put off all the catechism stuff until we are 40 or 50 [or until we have children]. Why children? Well it seems that children are the quickest and surest way for us to come to grips with sin death and the devil. Children are one of the few things that can break through the hardness we have acquired in dealing with life, they can still touch our heart. We can become hard like ice, you can chip ice, but it is more effective to melt it. Would we willingly face it by ourselves, or would it continue ever on the back burner. But children are a wonderful mirror, for in them we see ourselves.
Those bad dreams they have at night, and the terror of the things which lurk in the dark of the closet, or under the bed,Ö its not hard for us to see in these things the hand of the devil. And children find great comfort knowing that Jesus word and Jesus name can send that dark thing away. Jesus who delivers from the devil is important, he lets us sleep and rest in peace. And it is a great treasure. Jesus who has conquered the devil and has given us the victory.
So also it is children who often teach us about sin. They are really sorry when they do wrong, and they are afraid that because they have been bad, that we wonít love them any more, or that we might give them away, or send them forever out of the house. Children know sin, and they feel guilt and remorse for the evil they have done. They love to hear about Jesus who forgives their sins. They love to hear that Jesus will never throw them out of the house. They love to hear that Jesus will always love them. And having repented of their sin, they receive forgiveness with thanks and trust, and living in this faith, they are covered in a peace of God which passes all understanding. Forgiveness puts all the bad things from their minds. Jesus is important to children, and so also is the forgivenss of sins which he brings.
And often a childís life is touched by death, usually not a parent, but a grandparent or another relative. And there is a deep terror in the childís eyes over someone they will see no more, and those little eyes look up, and sayÖ you will never leave me, will you? And so we share with them Jesus, and how he conquered death, and how we need not be afraid, for as along as we live with Jesus, Jesus will raise us from the dead to everlasting life in a perfect place where there will be no more sickness sorrow, suffering, or death.
So it is that children learn of Jesus, a perfect and necessary super hero, who has all the things we need, and who helps us in all trouble. And cchildren can smile a confident smile and say, Nothing can beat my Jesus, and Nothing is better than my Jesus. And would that things would always continue like this, and that the childlike faith would not waver. But somewhere along the line, we are no longer afraid of the dark, and there is no more terror over our sin, and we believe will are going to live forever, not matter what we doÖ and in this way we fall away from faith and from Jesus. And as we fall way from faith and the Savior, our hearts become hardened, and we begin to believe the lies of the world, that the only way we are going to be saved is if we do it ourselves.
So the days pass, until something again touches our heart, and we see that there is still sin, death and the devil, and that we have become enslaved, and bound by these chains that we cannot free ourselves from. It is as though we had been frozen under this heavy layer of ice, and it is then that the son of God beams brightly, and our heart melts a little, and the spark of faith is renewed, and we believe and rejoice in Jesus our Savior and King. King of all, conquering all, even the ice.