40 Days 2020 Week 3
[SCRIPTURE] Mark 9:36-37; 10:13-16
At this point in Mark’s narrative, as Jesus prepares for the journey up to Jerusalem, He uses the children in his midst as indicative of important lessons about welcoming and receiving the Kingdom of God. Of all the things Jesus could have carried on the way up to Jerusalem, Jesus chose to carry kids. Jesus wanted kids around him. Not just because he cared about their future destiny, but because something of their childish behavior was more representative of the Kingdom of God than the adults who were rebuking them. So much so, that Jesus equates the welcome of a little child with welcoming God! Jesus goes on to say that it isn’t just those who welcome children who will be blessed, but it is the children themselves. They are the ones who embody the kind of attitude appropriate to receiving the Kingdom of God.
Jesus doesn’t tell us specifically what it is about little children that adults are to emulate and celebrate, so we are left to wonder what it might be. Perhaps it is their playfulness. Perhaps it is their curiosity. Perhaps it is their innocence. Perhaps it is their shamelessness. I’m inclined to think that what Jesus is getting at is a combination of all these childish attributes that make a kid a kid, and that the combination of these traits somehow makes a person wonderfully open to the work of God around them. After all, it is the little child who is just playful enough to turn cardboard boxes into treasure chests. It is the little child who is just curious enough to turn an ordinary walk into an adventure. It is the little child who is just innocent enough to turn strangers into friends. And it is the little child who is just shameless enough to dance whenever they hear music. Children, just by their presence, have the propensity to turn ordinary moments of our day into moments of laughter, discovery, friendship and dancing. And so it is with God, IF we are open to it. When we are at our best, we will welcome the little children in our midst. And when we do, we will find God laughing and playing and dancing and singing right there with them.
Dear Jesus, today I want to be open to the Kingdom of God in my midst. I want to be open to you today in a new and fresh way. Please help me to recover those good childish traits that I may have lost along the way so that I can truly welcome your Kingdom today in whatever form it may come to me. Amen