by Pastor Michael Salemink
“We are the pro-life generation.” That’s what today’s youth are calling themselves. And that’s your paycheck.
God blessed the Salemink household during our sons’ childhood; Mrs. Salemink didn’t need to work outside the home. Whenever one of the kids accomplished something remarkable, reached a milestone, or even just gave hugs and snuggles, I took to telling her, “That’s your paycheck.”
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Psalm 127:3). Lutheran students care about the sanctity of human lives. Gospel-motivated veterans have raised them right and taught them well. They prove you have not labored the decades in vain. Your suffering to speak the truth in love has succeeded.
The first parish I served had an average age of over sixty-five. No little ones hollered between the hymns or screamed through the sermon on Sunday morning. The people despaired that the message, the community, and the movement were dying. And when the Lord once more bestowed a few births and a baptism or two upon them, they rejoiced “before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil” (Isaiah 9:3).
We need young ones to remind us our ministry has a future. I witnessed it on an airplane, of all places. A mother and father were traveling with their toddler. He wiggled and wailed out his dissatisfaction with the situation and the surroundings. The parents self-consciously struggled to contain and quiet him, obviously apologetic to all adjacent passengers. I felt like telling them, “Don’t you be sorry. Don’t be ashamed. He’s only acting as normal, healthy kids do. And he is the reason the rest of us are here going where we are and doing our work. He represents the tomorrow we’ve all invested in.”
I should have said it, but I didn’t. Maybe you can. I’ll bet you’ve seen them before, and I’m sure you will see them soon, be it Dad, Mom, and youngster; or only one parent; or multiple children. When you do, tell them for me. Tell them for us. And let them see how God’s gracious love for every member of our race will last them into adulthood, old age, and even eternity.