"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lent - Day 38

“And Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me and don’t stop them. For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.’ ” (Matthew 19:14)

One of my favorite evenings at the library is when I work in the children’s room. I’ve enjoyed working with kid’s since I was just out of college and working part-time in a church kindergarten program and full-time in the church recreation ministry. Not being a parent, it’s fun and enjoyable to me because I can play with them, spoil them and then send them home with their parents. It’s neat to get on their level and have a good conversation about stuff and nonsense, but to also draw them into a more serious conversation, too. To treat them as people and not just little weebles or something. But, there is something endearing about looking up and just seeing a head of hair and eyes peeping over the counter at you, and asking where the latest “Fancy Nancy” or “Junie B. Jones” books are.
As Jesus began His journey toward Jerusalem for the Passover, he spent this weekend teaching and telling parables to everyone he encountered. At one point, a group of parents brought their children for a blessing, and, being kids, they were probably laughing and playing, so the disciples tried to stop them from getting too close to Jesus. When He saw this, he scolded His disciples with the quote used in the scripture for today. What did Jesus mean about Heaven belonging to childlike people?
Children are so believing…that’s part of their charm. They’ll believe almost anything you tell them. Believe it with all their hearts. I’ve been guilty in years past of the old “mixing butter and salt makes heat” story, and kids (and teenagers and adults) will usually just fall for the story….until the finale’. Jesus is making the point that unless you can come to Him and believe with the same strength and purity of a child, then you have not fully caught on to the whole salvation point. We have to believe totally, with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength. Let it permeate your whole being. Let it consume you. Fully trusting. Fully believing. Just like a kid and not like the typical cynical “show me” adults of the world.
Are you trusting like a child? Or do you hold a wee bit of ‘yourself’ in reserve in case it gets too hard? As I approach Jesus’ approach to Jerusalem and His triumphant entry on Sunday, I pray that I can have that simple faith-belief like a child.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable GIFT!


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