Thought for the week

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2018 has been designated in Scotland as the ‘Year of Young People’.

I am delighted to have this opportunity to focus on the children and young people in our midst. In my opinion they are not only our future, but the most enchanting part of our present.

‘Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see’, said Neil Postman.

What messages will they take from us into their future, I wonder – into that time we will not see.

Will they take our love and our encouragement to equip them for a future which will be challenging for them?

Will they take our dreams and our aspirations for them to support them on the way?

Will we have given them enough belief in themselves to have the courage to follow their own dreams?

Will we keep them close in our love but release them to follow life’s adventures?

Hoddam Carter said that the greatest gift we can give our children is ‘roots and wings’. Roots to ground them in our love – a love to which they can return forever. And wings to fly, as God intended, into a future with all its potential and opportunity.

Every child should grow up respected, loved, cherished, valued and affirmed.

Sadly this is not the case as we hear heartbreaking stories of children who are neglected, abused, unloved, lonely, frightened and forsaken.

In this year of young people, my prayer is that every single one of them will know the love of the God who is the maker and keeper of their precious days, and that we will be the community that cherishes and protects them every moment of their lives.