The wonder of a child (01-09-22)
Bible Readings: At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18. 1 – 3)
Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19.13 – 14)
A Thought We spend a lot of our time in the company of small people! We have five grandchildren spanning the ages of nearly six down to eighteen months, so we have plenty of opportunity to stand back and observe their behaviour in a way we never did as parents. We also have the joy of monitoring their growth and development via regular WhatsApp updates.
I recently received a WhatsApp photograph of our Cornish grandson, Rowan, aged three, at the local stables. He was watching two fluffy baby barn swallows peeping out of a nest high on a shelf above the horse fodder. In the photo, Rowan is absolutely captivated and his face is a delightful mix of curiosity and wonder at these tiny creatures high above him. I would love to know what he was thinking at that moment, but these little birds clearly gave him pleasure.
Jesus encourages us all to come as little children, with humility and simplicity but also with curiosity and wonder. All of these are valuable aspects of faith to be embraced and enjoyed, as we too explore more of God’s kingdom.
Daily walks at the beginning of the Covid pandemic made us all more aware of the natural world around us, but as life has gradually returned to normal the busyness has started to take over once again and we are already forgetting how to look carefully and notice, and in so doing we will miss those special moments of curiosity and wonder.
The month of September is now designated as ‘The Season of Creation’ by parts of the worldwide church, culminating on 4 October with the celebration of the Feast day of St Francis of Assisi. This gives ample opportunity to set aside time to look again, to become curious about the natural world around us, and to pause in wonder at the beauty and intricacy of creation.
Forest Church at 11 am on Sunday (4 September) in the Pocket Park will give us one such opportunity to come together and share the curiosity and wonder of our natural environment as a church family. With the children in our midst, let us celebrate God’s creation together. Bring a rug or chair, bring a picnic lunch, and bring a container for foraging or pond dipping!
Almighty God, may the beauty of creation and the mystery of the natural world
fill our hearts with wonder and praise.
From the highest of heights (Indescribable), Laura Story and Jesse Reeves, 2004.