“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven
and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise
and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”
This theme of having a “childlike” faith is one that
is common throughout the gospels, especially the Gospel of Luke.
Despite the repetition of this theme, I still think it is a difficult
concept to grasp. Why would innocence be preferred to wisdom and
knowledge? In our day and age, this seems like an incredible contradiction,
with the great emphasis that is placed on empiricism and education.
Perhaps it all has something to do with returning to our natural
state. We all came into the world as babies, dependent on others
to care for us, teach us, and love us. And, whether or not we choose
to acknowledge it (especially in this culture), we are constantly
dependent on our fellow human beings to support us during our journey
on this earth. Fundamentally, we are creatures of God, children
of the Lord. If we compare our spiritual nature with our temporal
nature, then it would seem that we too should remain forever dependent
on God, just as children are dependent on their caregivers and we
depend on one another. The idea that one is completely capable of
caring for oneself is inherently opposed to the idea of a “childlike”
faith and goes against our created nature.
Likewise, in this gospel reading we get the sense of the great value
God places on the ordinary for it is written, “For I say to
you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did
not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
The Lord clearly prefers to offer revelation to those who maintain
a childlike faith, not seeking power, control, or success, but rather
dependence. Many kings and prophets fell into states of idolatry,
making themselves, others or possessions into idols, thus abandoning
God. Hence, they were not able to hear and see the Glory of the
Lord. The Glory of God is available to all. Experiencing the glory
is wholly a matter of choosing to be available to receive it by
being dependent and relying on God.