Psalms 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11
Today’s gospel passage (Matthew 19:13-15) is a short one about Jesus welcoming the children. He scolded the disciples that tried to hinder the children. Some characteristic about children made Jesus exclaim, “The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” I have always thought Jesus was highlighting the dependence that children have on their parents as the way we should go to God. As I reflected on the passage, I began to ask myself many questions like, “What knowledge or behavior do adults miss about the kingdom of God that children seem to possess?” It dawned on me during my analysis that I was stuck in an adult mode. I was analyzing, critiquing and searching for the right answer. In my adult analysis I lost the freedom and spontaneity that children possess and Jesus was welcoming.
Yes, child-like dependence on God is a valuable spiritual characteristic, but freedom and spontaneity are equally important to me. My children continually teach me to relax, have fun and play. The stress and worries of my day slip away as Madeline invites me to enter as a player in Piglet and Whinne the Pooh’s wedding or as Parker wants to jump in the pool yet another time. During these times and in many others the freedom of childhood rushes over me and for a time the important things in life seem to be so clear. After a time, I fade back into adult mode and I become less spontaneous or free to embrace the Godliness that is present all around me. No, I am not advocating for adults to not act responsibly or maturely, but we must also re-learn how to be free and recognize the Godliness around us. We must allow our selves to play, be silly and spontaneously embrace the God who is waiting with open arms.
I pray that you take a good length of time with a young child to
find your own answers to the reason Jesus states, “The kingdom of God belongs
to such as these.”
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