This past Saturday our church was filled with the sound of children. Some of them shouting, most of them singing, talking and laughing a lot. I think it’s good therapy to watch children at play. It’s a shame God gave all that energy to such young children. Saturday was an Easter Day Camp at the church. The message and story of Jesus’s death and resurrection was reinforced in story, crafts, and games. It was a great day, and our volunteers outdid themselves.
Jesus is remembered for his tender inclusion of children. They are valuable members of his kingdom. The disciples had been travelling with Jesus for some time. They were amazed by his teaching and his miracles. Wherever they went there were groups of people wanting to see Jesus. Suddenly they were in the middle of an important moment in Jewish history. As their own self-importance grew, they made some wrong judgements about the values of the kingdom. There was a mistaken belief that you had to be an adult to really understand or take part in what Jesus was talking about.
When a group of parents wanted Jesus to bless their children, the disciples decided they weren’t important enough to waste time on. There was no time for children when the world waited for a Messiah. ‘Don’t bother the master’. Jesus wouldn’t let it happen. He called them and said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left. (Matthew 19:14-15)
It didn’t take long but Jesus sent a message that is too significant for us to miss. We can learn from children. We need to have a childlike faith in Christ. And, we need to include children in our church activities. If you want a place that’s clean, orderly and quiet then visit a morgue. But if you want to be where life is happening, visit a nursery.