ICE BREAKER: If you could have any fictitious character be your Dad who would you pick? Why?

READ: Psalm 127

Psalm 127 lies in the middle of one of my favorite portions of the Psalms: The Psalms of Ascent. These songs were collected as the Israelites were returning after being exiled as slaves in Babylon. God had issued judgement on them
for their idolatry and wayward behavior but had saved a remnant. Led by Ezra and Nehemiah, they were returning to Jerusalem, to rebuild their city and the Temple. The Psalms of Ascent were assembled for those who were journeying home to sing as they ascended up the hill to Jerusalem. The goal was to remind the people of how they needed to do things this time, to please God and not fall back into the old ways. Knowing this makes what we learn about children and parents in this Psalm even more impactful.

As Pastor talked about on Sunday, children being arrows in the hands of a warrior needing a proper target, would fall heavy on the hearts of people who knew that if their children turned their backs on God the consequences would be
dire. They knew clearly the goal, that their children be raised in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord. So they proclaimed boldly: “Unless the Lord builds the house, those that build it labor in vain!” They knew that their children
were a blessing, but one that must be shaped and molded to serve and fear the Lord. They understood the weight and the challenge of the task before them and their dependence on God to fulfill that call. This song was both a blessing and a challenge, a gift but also a high bar to reach.

To get to our application today however, I would like us to think about this for just a second from a slightly different point of view. I think that many times we think: “Welp, I’m not a parent, this does not apply to me” or “My
children are grown and gone, and therefore I… either did my time or already messed it up”. But there is more that we can say to this. If you are reading this Refresco it means that you are, in some way, shape, or form, connected to Sierra VistaCommunity Church. At a minimum, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ you are a part of the universal church. This Psalm about parenting begins with a bold proclamation: “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” But we know that the Lord is already building a house, it’s called the Church. We are all needed to help train and grow the next generation. If you are a parent then Amen, but we also need spiritual aunts and uncles to help aim our children. The world says that it takes a village to raise a child. That’s close, but we know that it takes a CHURCH to raise a child. We can all be spiritual Superheros in the lives of the next generation, the question is: How can God use you?

1. Be honest: Do you really think it is your responsibility to help shape and aim the next generation? Why or Why not?
2. What gifts do you possess that can help you influence and aim the next generation?
3. What do you see as the greatest hurdle you have in fulfilling this duty entrusted to you?

PRAY: Pray that the Lord would use you to help reach and shape the next generation. Pray that he would give you opportunity and clarity to know where and how he has gifted you to reach them with the hope and joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!