But 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 19:14)
Let the Little Children Come
In this passage from Matthew, Jesus teaches us all a very important lesson about the kinds of people that make up the Kingdom. In the ancient world (and in many places in our modern world) children are seen as having very little value. They cannot work, they need constant attention, and they can generally seem like a nuisance. In many cases, societies try to push children into a corner where they cannot disrupt the neat and tidy universe that adults have created for themselves.
Hmmm. This sounds familiar. We do the same thing for many other types of people. The poor, the sick, those with disabilities, and minorities are often pushed into the corners of society so that they don’t disrupt the neatness and tidiness of what we consider ideal.
Like he does so often, Jesus turns our paradigms upside down. He rebukes his disciples and tells them that the Kingdom belongs to these types of people. In fact, he finds great delight in the children because they are so full of life. NT Wright says “that’s what God’s Kingdom is like - full of new and unpredictable life. Little children, trusting and adventurous, eager, ready to be drawn into stories and dramas, are just the sort of people the kingdom is for.”
This is such good news. The Kingdom is not just for grown-ups, for those who have their lives and acts together. Christianity is the most inclusive movement the world has ever seen. CEOs and custodians, lawmakers and criminals, doctors and invalids, PhD’s and people with special needs, singles and married couples, locals and internationals… and yes, little children. There is no criteria for citizenship in the Kingdom except for that we recognize our need for Jesus and trust him.
How to pray...
- Pray for Michelle Crouse as she leads our children’s ministry, SPLASH Kids. Thank God for her abiding commitment not only to provide a safe and fun environment for our children on Sundays, but to constantly look for creative ways to communicate the gospel of Jesus to kids.
- Thank God for our children who are coming to faith in Christ. Rejoice with Colton, who was baptized last Sunday, and his family.
- Pray for the teachers who invest in our children every week. Pray that God would use them in mighty ways to lead our children to faith in Christ.
- Pray for Scott Crocker and the other volunteers who set-up and tear down to create the environment for Splash.
- Ask God for a humble heart that joyfully welcomes little children (and other marginalized people) and values their contributions and presence in our church community.
For the Family
Sometimes children are the best teachers. When we see the gospel through the lens of a child, we often see things in a new and refreshing way.
Sometimes a child’s view of God is exactly what we need. Sometimes a child’s understanding of sin, grace, forgiveness or heaven will bring you into a deeper relationship with Jesus.
There are inevitably times when a teacher in SPLASH Kids goes into SPLASH prepared to share a lesson about God, and they walk out with a deeper understanding of Him because of being with children. Children are a gift to us in so many ways.
Parents, share with your child something they have taught you or you have learned from them. Let them know ways that they have shaped your spiritual journey.
"Let the Little Children Come" - Joel Pollard
Joel Pollard is the Director of Worship at LBC. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary and intends to pursue pastoral ordination in the PCA after graduation. Joel and his wife, Katie, have been married since 2011 and have two children, Sam and Evie.
"For the Family" - Michelle Crouse
Michelle Crouse has served as the director of LBC's children's ministry—SPLASH Kids—since the end of 2011. She and her husband Joshua were married in 2002 and have 2 children. Michelle grew up outside of Boston and graduated from James Madison University in Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She loves being with kids and loves the opportunity to be a part of teaching children how much they are loved by God, and helping them grow in their understanding of what that means.