Matthew 18: 1-4 reads:
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 Then he called a little child over to sit among the disciples, 3 and said, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
This is a familiar verse to many of us. We can almost see the little mini-movie unfolding: Jesus calling the child, bending over; and then putting his arm around the child in a loving manner while speaking to the disciples. Saying that they, the disciples of Jesus, should strive to have the faith of this child.
This is such a neat verse, such a clear example of faith. We are to be like children in our faith.
But what do children do? Ask questions. As those of us who have been around children know – kids not only say the darndest things, they ask question. Lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of questions… And one question in particular, Why? Why is the grass green? Why is it so hot? Why are you so old? Why don’t I need more toys? It is through these questions our children learn about the world around them.
If we are to have the faith of children, then we should we also be asking questions? Can our questions lead to anything besides greater knowledge and a deeper relationship with our Lord? God, why did _______ happen? Lord, Why does this world seem so out of control some times? God, why didn’t you call more people to watch Defying Gravity, with Ron Livingston, that was such a cool show?
Now, I must confess. I’m writing this article poolside at our neighborhood’s little splash-park. It is a wonderful way to pass these crazy hot days we have been experiencing. And I’m watching as Enoch and Evy are freely walking up to the other children in the pool and asking if they would like to play. Everyone is sharing toys, a snack or two, and Enoch has a group of girls playing air guitar with him next to the pool…such a ladies man. These children did not stick to their little area in the pool; keeping their toys & snacks for themselves. Rather they sought out each other to join together in play.
Perhaps Jesus doesn’t want us just to have a passionate faith & yearning for a deeper relationship, but to also freely invite others into our community of believers.
And maybe, we can all share in a meal.