The Reverend Fred Rogers
Every March 20th the Presbyterian Planning Calendar reminds us; 'It's Mr. Rogers Day.'
March 20, 1948 was Mr. Rogers' birthday. In 1962, Mr. Rogers graduated from Pittsburg Theological Seminary and in 1963 he was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the United Presbyterian Church (later the Presbyterian Church USA).
But Fred didn't stop at ordination, he continued his studies in Child Development and worked for over 30 years with a child psychologist on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, his world-renowned children's television show.
Mr. Rogers' and His Message
Everybody has a story, and Mr. Rogers had a way of telling the stories of those around him that no only captivated children but humbled adults as well.
When Mister Rogers' Neighborhood began in 1968 no one knew what Fred Rogers had instore for the world. Mr. Rogers set the tone of his show from the first days. His messages were focused on child psychology and ethical reasoning. He invited guests on his show with the intention of changing the way children saw and interacted with the world. Mr. Rogers didn't shy away from topics such as death, divorce, sibling rivalry, and even racism.
Mr. Rogers' message was clear -- children have the capacity to understand the complexities of the world around us and process them thoughtfully if we invite them into the conversation. This is why we pause every March 20th to celebrate Fred Rogers.
A Devotion Inspired by Mr. Rogers
Micah 6: 6-8
With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Matthew 22: 34-39
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’