Sunday, 17 October 2021

Let the Children Come

In Luke 18 there is an episode where people bring young children or babies to Jesus. The disciples of Jesus get uppety about this and want to put a stop to it. But Jesus corrects them, using some interesting words that should make us think about people come into the presence of God.

Jesus tells the disciples 'Let the little children come - don't get in their way'. That is despite the obvious facts that children are often noisy, messy, and don't think in the same way that grown-ups do. Yet children also have an innocence - as adults we are glad there are some things they have not yet seen, heard or experienced.

Jesus goes on to say that 'the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these'. We should remember that 'the Kingdom of God' is where things line up with how God wants them to be. Lets think a moment: we know that even little children can mis-behave, and we know that their reasoned understanding of God will be limited (simply due to their young age). Yet we also know that children can be simply loving - responding with simplicity. These make for an interesting melting pot of factors to consider when Jesus says 'the Kingdom belongs to such as these'!

Jesus tops it off by suggesting we should all "Receive the Kingdom of God like a little child". For sure children like receiving things, but when they receive what can they give back? Maybe the clue is in 'like a little child' - us adults do make things complicated!.

So in His words we have "Come", "Belongs to" and "Receive". The invitation is to come even with our baggage and mess, plus the fact that we don't understand fully. We would be better off with a child-like innocence - let the hindrances drop away! 'Belong' is a strong word, conveying that it has a 'rightful place with'. Jesus says that even though patterns of mis-behaviour are there, and reasoned knowledge is lacking. Perhaps despite all this we should learn how to respond with simple loving to be in that category of people to whom the Kingdom has its rightful place?

Finally the invitation is to "Receive". God is willing to place into our lives this incredible Kingdom, but on our part it is to be 'like' a little child. That needn't mean that we should never grow up or mature. We can gladly and simply receive, and just our being will be enough in return - at least for now. It really doesn't have to be complicated, just as children can demonstrate remarkably incisive simplicity of thought!

No comments:

Post a Comment