Anyone who has talked to an imaginative young child or who was once an imaginative young child knows that children perceive reality in a different way than adults do. One of the more striking examples of this is that children assume they would have existed whether or not they were born to their specific parents. Children believe that if they were not born to their own mother and father, they would have surely been born at some other time or place to different parents. This thinking usually concludes with a happy acceptance of the current parents, but it never concedes that without the parents, there would be no child. The child simply assumes that his existence has always been guaranteed.
There is a certain loftiness to this childish thought. Reason allows that children are merely the product of parents, possessing no existence prior to or past their span of life. Yet little children, without possessing any particular philosophical insight, conclude that they must be eternal beings. While the world wipes away this kind of thinking as unreasonable and out of accord with reality, God’s Word favors the child’s notion of reality. Recently in daily chapel, the students have been hearing of King David, a man after God’s own heart. David writes in Psalm 139 that “in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.” When a child is born, God’s eternal plan comes to pass; even before a child’s conception, God knows all the child’s days. How marvelous are God’s works! Each child has been known by God even before birth, and a child will not simply cease to exist when death comes—a child has an eternal soul, which will either be saved or damned eternally.
A child is right to naively assume that he has always been meant to be. It would take a lot of convincing to make him think otherwise, yet this is exactly what the world wants to do. The devil wants to degrade the crown of God’s creation by brainwashing children to think that they are mere specks in a cosmic accident, coming from nothingness and headed towards the void. This false religion is proclaimed in schools that renounce God, spawning generations of children who are left with nothing more to aspire to than a few years of pleasure before death.
Though they teach much to make students successful and prosperous, schools that do not show its children Christ give them nothing but the empty things of the world. Children as eternal beings need to be given the things of eternity, to hear Christ’s eternal Word, to be shown the One who gives eternal life. For God “has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Ecc. 3:11). Man, though longing after eternity, cannot find out of himself what God has done, but Christ illuminates darkened minds with His Word and reveals the works of God for man. It is the joy of this school to share with young Christians what God has done in all of history; to teach them languages, that they may read God’s Word; to sing, pray, and memorize the catechism, that their faith in God may grow; and to give them a wonder for the things that God has created. Though this school may last for many years, it will eventually meet its end, but the souls taught here will, by God’s grace, live forever with Christ.