“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Mat 18:3
“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Mat 19:14
I like children in the regular worship gathering. I don’t care that they might act up; it is one of the few things on Sunday AM that might actually look like a 1st century gathering of believers. Have you ever noticed that sense of unrest that ripples through the auditorium (there’s a word that points to our problem) when a kid starts up, though?
I’m not a parent yet, so I don’t have that perspective, but I think of the verses above whenever a youngster gets too antsy and hyper during a sermon, and the heads start to turn. Husbands look around; wives cut their eyes at their husbands with “that face.” It is one of the most awkward moments in church life, though, and no matter what your youth minister tells you, it *is* the real reason behind children’s church.
So why do we ignore Jesus? We act like Jesus said, “Unless you turn and become like somber, stolid adults, you will never enter the kingdom.” But he DIDN’T! He said that WE need to be more like THEM!
- Children run up to Daddy (and Mommy too) and say, “Daddy Daddy Daddy! Look what I made!!!” They don’t cringe and plead, “Dear Father, I hope that what I have done is pleasing in your sight.” I fear people are turned away from the outrageous love of Our Father because (in public) we act like he’s some unpredictably abusive tyrant.
- Children cheer one another on! Have you ever seen a group of little kids playing T-ball? One kid hits the ball and VOOM! they’re all off to the races! Every hit is potentially an inside-the-park home run because the kids haven’t yet learned that they’re supposed to try and thwart the other kids! Nothing breaks my heart more in worship than how somberly we experience a baptism. How “adult” we are!
What do you think? What are some ways you need to become like a little child? What are some ways WE as members of believing communities need to become like little children? What do you think we need?
in HIS love,