|Children in church - Image: Pixabay.com|
TO CHEW ON: “But Jesus called them to Him, and said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.’ “ Luke 18:16
I spent a recent weekend at an event called Poetry Camp—a gathering of children’s poets (poets who are adults but write poetry for children). It was a good place to be—with people who hold children in high regard, who are in touch with their own childlikeness, and who have a lot of empathy for kids.
Luke 18:15-17 of our passage alerts us to several aspects of how children, us adults, and the kingdom of God are related.
1. Children don’t come to Jesus on their own; they must be brought.
2. Jesus’ touch on a child’s life is something to be desired.
3. Adults can hinder children coming to Jesus.
4. Adults can learn a lesson about receiving God’s kingdom from children.
(My Bible’s notes on parallel passage Mark 10:15: “The kingdom of God is only for those who come to Jesus in the humble dependence and trust of little children. The kingdom of God belongs to them, not because of merit, but because God wills to give it to the humble and the apparently insignificant or unimportant” - J. Lyle Story, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1368,9.)
The church I attend has a special emphasis on the 4-14 window (providing attention, ministry and programs to kids between the ages of 4 and 14). This is because statistics show that almost three quarters (71%) of adult Christians have had an encounter with Jesus during that period of their childhood.
In regard to children coming to Jesus, we can ask ourselves, are our churches welcoming and attractive to youngsters and their parents? How do those of us without youngsters react when a crying baby or lively toddler makes him- or herself heard in our sedate atmosphere? Are we helpful and understanding? Or do we stare resentful looks at the parents?
Do we encourage the utter trust and faith of children when them come to Jesus? Or do we take it on ourselves to caution them not to take these things too seriously?
May we retain our own childlike faith in Jesus and bring them with us to Him.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I love how welcoming and gentle You were with children. Help me to have Your attitude toward them and their attitude toward You. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.