Let the little children come to me

I recently attended the funeral service of a 5 month old little boy. His father carried the small white coffin into the church with the mother by his side. There were many family members and friends present. We were all very sad. Brandon died of sudden infant death syndrome, from which about 300 babies aged under one die each year in the UK. His father had checked him at 6.30am on a Sunday morning and he was fine. When he went into his room again at 9.30am the little boy had died. It was a devastating shock for the father and mother, the family, and all who know them.

The love and kindness of our family and friends is so important at times like this. At the service, and later at the graveside, you could sense the loving concern of all who were there. There were few words, but many hugs and tears. The grieving parents knew they were not alone in their tragic loss. At the service one of the grandmothers spoke very movingly about her grandson and all he had meant to the family during his very short life.

Tragic situations raise questions in our minds to which there are no easy answers. Sometimes, sadly, they move people away from God, but it is always best to go to him with our sadness. Faith in Jesus Christ is a great source of comfort and strength in the days immediately following a death and, also, in the days and years which follow. In giving his only Son to be the Saviour of the world, God identified with us in the tragedies and sadnesses of life. Because of his great love for us, Jesus died to pay the price of our sins. By his death he destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. He promised his disciples, “Because I live you also will live.”

During his ministry Jesus showed great love for children. One day when parents brought their little children to him the disciples told them to go away. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Brandon’s parents have found real comfort in their sadness in committing the little boy they loved so much into the loving care of the Lord Jesus.

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