You can listen to this week’s Devotional here
Author: Chad Glang
Some people brought their babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. The disciples saw them and scolded them for doing so, but Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Remember this! Whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Luke 18:15-17
Some years ago, I asked the kids at First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs: “What do you think Jesus meant by this? What do adults need to learn from children, in order to enter the Kingdom of God?” The following Sunday I gave the Children’s Sermon . . . this one was from the kids.
First, the youngest of us know that you need to take care of the basics. Keep your room clean, hold scissors the right way, and don’t do naughty things. It’s also important to practice what you preach. One of our teachers forgets to take turns talking, and a dad has been observed eating with his hands, after insisting that we use a fork. And be careful what words you use; we might repeat them. Tell the truth. It is especially important to be honest with the people we love, like our moms and dads. There’s too much hate between adults. We know that you’re not supposed to hate, except for vegetables. You shouldn’t go to war, but learn to make up faster, like we do. Instead of shooting, cut the cookie in half.
Be humble. You let us know when we make mistakes, but it seems like you forget that you do, too. Like if we ride our bike where we’re not supposed to, we get sent to our room, and learn not to make that mistake again. You need to be better at noticing your own mistakes, especially when there’s no one to send you to your room. And don’t think you’re so important. Remember, the adults wanted to hog all Jesus’ attention, but he told them to give the kids a chance to be with him. Be humble about your ideas too. We know that we don’t know everything, and we keep learning. Adults can act like they know it all. But some of your beliefs may not be true. Keep an open mind. You may need to let go of an idea, to solve a problem. Like one of us gave a really hard card problem to his sister, and she solved it in five minutes. The grown-ups took a lot longer, because they complicated it with too many details. Let go of your usual ways of doing things. Watch us. We like to explore, to do something risky, just to see what will happen. You have to trust enough, to try something new.
Slow down. Jesus took the time to pray. There were so many demands on him, he might have fallen apart if he didn’t. Don’t be so stressed out, as one of our moms is when she’s balancing the check book. If you get too busy, you might forget something that means a lot to someone else, like an anniversary. When you get caught up in your own silly business, you’re just thinking about what you have to do to get ahead. You forget about what others need. Relax, gather your thoughts, and ask yourself, “What will I be loyal to?” As one of us in the second grade said, listen to your heart, and do what you hear!
We know how to take the time for enjoyable stuff, even if it doesn’t seem important. When you always do important things, you may become tired and miserable. But heaven is a big happy place! So have fun, play games.
We can remember, even in the worst times, that Jesus loves everybody. You need to remember that he loves you.
May we see with the eyes of children, may we experience surprise, awe and delight.