16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, Let the children come to me. Dont stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesnt receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.
I was somewhat bemused when Blaze last week chose exactly the same verses as I was planning to use this week - but having read his I decided there was more I wanted to add. Specifically I want to look at a few of the characteristics that children have which we so often lack.
Trust - which means not just a willingness to take risks on the basis of a person's word, but also assuming the best about someone. I'm sure we've all had the experience of being a 'boy magnet' - when a boy spontaneously approaches us. As BLs we've got mixed motives - to a greater or lesser extent. Yet here we have a willingness to reach out to an unknown adult. Do we have similar expectations of those we meet - or do we approach expecting rejection?
Spontaneously building friendship: put a group of children together - especially when there is something for them to do - and they'll get on with it and make friends easily and naturally. How often do we struggle to achieve that.
Forgiveness - boys will forgive mistakes and be willing to carry on as before. They've more sense than to hold grudges. They move on from the events of the past and hope for the better outcome in the future. Do we release our hurts, our sense of being offended, our desire to hold something against the other so that we can feel superior? Or do we just get on with life?
Peace about the future. Children don't - or shouldn't have to - worry about where the next meal is coming from, how they are going to be clothed etc. And Jesus tells us that God has a similar concern for us; yet despite that we still succumb to the temptation to worry about these things.
Lord God: may we learn to be as children living in your world by your power and blessed by your provision. May we learn to trust and forgive easily. May we be the ones who reach out to the stranger. May we not hold grudges or become cynical about others, but rather seek to show them your love despite the hurts they have caused - because you are the one who has taken all hurts upon himself and forgiven all that the hurts that we have caused. We ask this in the name of Jesus who showed us how to live and how much he loved us by how he died. Amen.