Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Little Children

And Jesus said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3
I never liked the verse where Jesus tells his disciples to become like children much.  It was a verse that I heard a lot growing up, and it always seemed to be one of those verses that people quoted to put others in their place.  Or one that inspired people to write creepy "Jesus is my daddy" contemporary worship songs.

But then, at one of the School of the Spirit residencies, my friend Judy G gave a message during worship that changed how I felt about the verse entirely.  

Judy said that she was at her meeting one Sunday when a young girl, maybe four or five years old, came in with her parents.  The girl was wearing a lovely dress and seemed quite proud of it.  

A Friend approached the girl and said, "You look so pretty in that dress today!"  

She responded, "I know!"

That is how little children are.  They haven't yet learned what adults have―to respond with false humility or with very real self-loathing.  They are joyful in their beauty.

With that in mind, I think Jesus was right to say what he did.  Be like those children.  Know that you were made in the image of God.  You are beautiful to God.  And the love of God that comes through you makes you beautiful to others as well.

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