Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
If you are like me, your mind continually goes to those families in Connecticut, the ones who are burying children, brothers, sisters, and friends. My heart aches for them. My prayers are for them, for those who are left behind.
But for me, tonight was sweet. A friend texted me last night to tell me her daughter was going to be baptized tonight. I went, and it was wonderful. It made my heart sing. It's such a blessing to see someone choose Christ. You could see the light and excitement in her eyes. Her mom told me later she heard her crying in her room earlier in the day and when she asked what was wrong the girl told her, I'm just so happy. Oh, what joy fills my soul to see someone so young make the biggest decision of her life!
Children and their faith facinate me. I'm a why person. I want to know why it works that way, what's the theory behind it, why does that situation have a better result than the other situation? How does a deal benefit both parties involved? It serves me well in my job, it doesn't always serve me well in my faith. It's ok to ask why, but there is also a big part that's faith, and paying attention to the way God works in our lives, and just believing.
For this reason, I've always loved the verse from Luke 18:17 that says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
I read this article from Jon Acuff and I thought it was such a fantastic commentary on this verse. I've cut out some of my favorite parts below, but you can read the full article here
“Why did Christ say we needed receive the kingdom of God like a little child?”
Kids are interesting role models. I guarantee you’ve never been in a meeting at work and someone said, “In order to hit our sales numbers this quarter, we’ve got to have discipline like a child.” No politician has ever said, “If I’m elected, I’ll run the country with wisdom like a child.” No coach has ever said, “In order for us to win Saturday’s game, we need to work hard like a child.”
It’s difficult to find another context in life where being “like a child” is held up as something to emulate.
So why then, of all the examples Christ could have used, are children the example he picked? I’ve heard someone say it’s because kids are dependent and in need of being taken care of, and God takes care of us like that.
But I think there’s an even simpler possibility.
Because kids get grace.
Grace makes sense to kids. They’ve got the imagination and creativity and “anything is possible” attitude that can accept the unbelievable nature of grace. We adults are the ones who have a hard time with it.
We’ve spent 10 or 20 or 30 years learning how “things work.” There are consequences, cause and effect, A+B = C situations. Grace doesn’t fit those.
We get something we don’t deserve. Something we can’t control. Something we can’t earn. Something that makes no sense when you try to break it down logically. So you’re saying that when I make a mess of my life, when I wreck everything in it, that there’s a God who loves me so much that he sent his only son to die for me so that I could repent and be forgiven?
But not to kids.
Kids get grace.
I think Christ wants us to get it too.
That’s why I think he wants us to have faith like a child.