When parents brought their children to Jesus for him to bless them, the disciples scoffed and tried to send the children away (Matthew 19:13-14). Adults did not pay attention to children, and a rabbi as well-known as Jesus would not have spent time with young kids in his regular course of work and teaching.
Imagine how those children felt, seeing Jesus lean down toward them with open arms. A grown-up was smiling at them, listening to their words, making promises in God’s name to them (that’s what a blessing is!), and taking their questions seriously.
Furthermore, Jesus goes on to tell the adults to seek to be more like the children. A childlike faith embraces a sense of wonder, a willingness to ponder, and a lack of fear at the largess of God. Most children love to imagine things that do not end – ongoing playdates, living at the zoo or the fair, a limitless toy box, candy forever. Grace for everyone, forgiveness that is always renewing, and an eternal welcome are similar big concepts that just make sense to young minds.
This message is excerpted from “Leading with questions” by Julia Seymour in the April 2015 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate John Donne, poet, 1631.
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