Jesus called a little child to come to him. He stood the child in front of the followers. Then he said, “The truth is, you must change your thinking and become like little children. If you don’t do this, you will never enter God’s kingdom. The greatest person in God’s kingdom is the one who makes himself humble like this child.”
Jesus says and does everything backwards, and this is a bold example. What other teacher would assert that we need to reverse our development, and turn around the progress of our maturity to “become like little children?” Imagine the dirty little ragamuffin Jesus “stood in front of the followers.” Nervous with all those eyes on her… smiling back when one of them smiled… only able stand still for a minute… wanting to get back to the urgencies of play. That’s our role model. You’d have to “change and become” a “child” to believe there is such a thing as “God’s kingdom” in the first place. That there’s this whole invisible realm, with an invisible King, all around us. That instead of armies and castles and agencies and laws, this “kingdom” exercised its sovereignty through things like friendship and forgiveness and humility and love. The other night when I was putting 4-year old Julie to bed, she asked me, “Tell me a brand new story — a long, long, long one.” Her cousin Aaron, 3, spent the day before yesterday with a tattered sheet of paper taped to his collar. He pointed it out to me and said, “When the wind catches it, I can zoom to the skies and defeat all the bad guys.” Yes, that’s “truth.” “God’s kingdom” is a long, brand-new story, where we can experience powers and victories we haven’t dreamt of since we were “little.” Today I need to “change and become” … and I want to.
Lord, playing hide-and-seek in this big adult world are your little children — those who are changing it into your kingdom. Hiding in me is that faith of a little child. The deepest desire of my heart is to be part of your story and the enjoy the gifts of imagination and power only you can give. Let’s play. Amen.
~ by Steve Moore