Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
World Day against Child Labor
If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (V.6)
218 million children between the ages of 5-17 are involved in child labor worldwide as per the International Labor Organization. 1 in 6 children work globally. 22,000 children die as a result of work related accidents. From 2007-2010, of the total people that were trafficked, 27% of the people are children (“World Day against Child Labor: A close look at the situation” June 12, 2013). A look at these statistics shows how prevalent child labor still is despite improved education and labor laws.
When studying the passage in Matthew, there is not any doubt about how precious children were to Jesus. He exhorts the people to protect the children and to make sure that no one harms them or even causes them to stumble. Why would Jesus feel the need to make sure that children are taken care of? When we look at the statistics of children under slavery, are we doing a good job protecting them?
Children are born into this world with no ability to defend themselves or to protect themselves from danger. They need adults to stand up for them, to stand in the way against danger for them, to meet their needs for them. When we do these things for children, we are doing the same to God. Jesus says it here in verse 5 that "whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." In fact, in Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus says that whenever you provide for the poor, feed the hungry, give a drink to the thirsty, you do these things unto the Lord. GOD has entrusted the children to us to protect and to take care of them and this is our service unto our Lord.
As we recognize June 12th to be World Day against Child Labor this year, we need to do more to support the children. The appalling number of children in slavery worldwide tells us that we have not done enough to eliminate child labor. The children in slavery need a voice to speak for them, and God has entrusted that task to us. How can you help provide for these children? How can you be a voice for these children? These are the questions that GOD is asking of us today.
Prayer: Lord, would you please show me how I can be used to defend the children who are in slavery? Use me Lord to take care of your children…..Amen
Thought for the day: “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? ...Then shall your light break forth..." Isaiah 58:6-8.
Dr. Jeeji .Y. Mathunny, Epiphany MTC , NY