At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Greetings and peace! Pastor Dan here.
A couple of hours ago here at the church we started up Kids’ Camp (the artist formerly known as Vacation Bible School). There’s a lot of great energy on the church grounds right now. Kids doing crafts, running in the grass, laughing, singing, and doing theater. I’m back and forth all morning, spending some time with the kids and then taking care of things in the church office, and it’s nice to hear the laughter of children wafting through the window on a summer’s day.
Plenty of pastors before me have done sermons on the difference between childLIKE faith and childISH faith. I’m sure many of you have heard something like that before. But I just think it’s so telling that when the disciples asked Jesus “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus’ immediate response was that we should become like a child. The wonder, the curiosity, and the unselfconscious enthusiasm of children are such a model for us. We spend our whole lives “growing up,” and each of us leaves so much behind to do it. But just as our young ones have something to learn from us, so too do we have something to learn from them. At least that’s what Jesus says, and I tend to believe Him in most things.
Children are always asking questions. Children are never afraid to put themselves out on a limb. They go in with both feet or they don’t go in at all, with wide eyes and a quick smile. May our faith be as childlike as it can be. When we seek God, may we open our hearts and dial back our clocks, and enter those gates with scabby knees and chewing gum stuck in our hair.
Prayer:God who laughs, remind me of the child I have inside of me. Help me to feel the wonder of a child, and excitement at every new thing you have to show me. Amen.
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