by Amy Crisp, Minister of Education
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
These familiar words from Mark took on new meaning for me last month during the mission trip in Honduras. During our trip, we worked with the children at the Children’s Village associated with Heart to Heart. The majority of these children have histories of abuse, and I was unsure of how they would respond to our presence. The amazing thing is, they did not respond as children who were afraid to trust or to love or even to welcome.
As soon as we pulled up to the village on the first day, the children ran out and swarmed our van. They were beyond excited to see us. And the fact that they didn’t know some of us did not stop or slow them down. They eagerly opened the door of our van and began pulling us out one by one for hugs and high fives.
I could imagine Jesus receiving that same welcome and love. Children swarming him, climbing up him, pulling on his hands to get his attention. Excited. Full of joy.
Jesus celebrated this childlike faith. A faith that welcomes and loves without fear and boundaries. A faith that reaches out to the stranger to welcome him or her in. A faith full of joy and excitement, that sees new life springing forth at every turn.
How can we begin to embody that kind of faith?