The Good News!
I have a confession to make. Whoa, I bet that has your attention! Have you ever played the game “Would You Rather…”? It is an ice breaker game I have used many times in youth ministry situations as well as in schools where I have taught. The “game” asks students to step on one side of a line based on a question posed such as, Would you rather eat a snake or or a lizard? After brief thought, the students step on the side of the line that tells what they would prefer. Okay, here is my confession. If someone asked me, “Would you rather be in a room full of adults or be in a room full of kids” I would gingerly jump to the side of the kids…for many reasons.
So, this passage we come to this morning gives me overwhelming joy and makes me giggle a bit because of the way Jesus scolds his guys as they try to get the kids (brought by their parents!) from clamoring to the front of the “church” to get near Jesus while he is teaching.
Mark 10, The Message
13-16 The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.
“Don’t EVER get between them and me.” Pretty clear, isn’t it? Ministry to children is the lifeblood of a healthy church. Kids are simple and have complete faith in the One who created them. They are not as tarnished by worldly ways…yet. This is the kind of faith that Jesus wants from us. We can learn by watching, listening and understanding how a child thinks. We can be childlike in our faith and not be childish. There is a difference.
Simple, complete faith in God, trusting every move He makes concerning us, while taking us on adventures that grow us AND enjoying it with complete inner joy and peace is childlike faith. Fighting every move He makes in and through us and whining about every grow spurt God allows in our lives is childish faith. Ah…Childlike versus childish. Something to think about today, eh?
And Jesus took them in his arms and laid His hands of blessings on them. What a glorious image of thought! What this blessing? Follow children of simple faith right into the center of God’s kingdom thinking. BE childlike in faith and practice. Let us lay down our worldly childish ways.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for Your Word that blesses us today and teaches us to be more childlike, not childish in our faith and trust in You…no matter what. We love You with all our heart, mind and soul. Thank you for encouraging us today. Go with us now and help us live what we have been taught. May we meditate on this Word all day long. In Jesus Name, Amen