Come like children (21-08-20)
A Bible Reading: Luke 18. 16 - 17
Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
This week we took our caravan up to Derbyshire, so that our daughter and family could borrow it for a holiday. When they arrived, the grandchildren were brimming over with excitement.
Although Melody has been caravanning with us before, she was particularly excited at the prospect of sleeping on the top bunk this year! This was to be her first experience of proper bunk beds and her first attempt at climbing a ladder. She watched intently as Grandad and Daddy set up the bunk and the ladder, and then the moment of ascent finally came. As she climbed the ladder for the first time, her face was a wonderful picture of curiosity (how do I do this?), concentration (how do I do this safely?) and concern (what do I do when I get to the top of the ladder?) This was rapidly followed by a different challenge (now how do I get back down again?) Within five minutes, she was climbing in and out of the top bunk with confidence, clearly delighted by the whole process.
Zachary was equally thrilled at the prospect of the bottom bunk and his first time in a real bed rather than a cot. Mind you, he was soon attempting the ladder too to keep up with his big sister! I, meanwhile, observed the whole process with a grandmother’s sense of pride and joy, aware once again of the simple, innocent pleasures in life.
Jesus told his disciples that they should approach the kingdom of God in a similar way. The Christian life also involves curiosity, concentration, concern and challenge in equal measure. The more I learn about God, the more questions I have and the more I realise I still have to learn. I continue to be curious about the things of God on a daily basis, because there is always something new to learn. Christian living at times requires concentration and focus, if I am truly going to follow Jesus’ example. Sometimes I have concerns about my discipleship, wondering what do I do now? And I have frequently found the Christian life challenging, taking me well out of my comfort zone. However, as I walk on with God day by day, there is an ever-deepening confidence and trust, which brings a peace and a joy into my life even in the most challenging times.
Heavenly Father, may I seek out the things of your kingdom with simplicity and trust, knowing that I can approach you as your child, loved and held secure by you. Amen.