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Children in the Bible

Guest column by Rev. Jennifer Ahrens-Sims

Like women, children are not frequently mentioned in the bible. Rarely are children named. This leaves a reader to surmise about the status of women and children in any of the various biblical narratives. As I was encouraged in seminary to ‘read between the lines’ I begin to postulate the sound of their voices giving rise to their interests and activities. 

One place where children are explicitly mentioned is in the 14th and 15th chapters of Matthew. Here are the stories of the feedings of the multitudes. These stories are also told in some of the other gospels, but only Matthew mentions, “And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.” 

This week we have been consumed with the activity of children learning about space and creation at VBS. Their voices reverberate throughout our hallways and curious minds trigger tiny hands to shoot up, signaling the ‘blast off’ of ideas and understanding. This Sunday they will lead us in worship song. And I’m so pleased that, for our public record, the voices and needs of children are present and accounted for. 

Now, on to children at the border and other places where children are largely forgotten, hidden, or otherwise made invisible…. Let’s stay vigilant about making them heard, seen and remembered.

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