And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." Matthew 18:3-5 NIV
From 1952-to 1969, millions of people watched Art Linkletter's TV show, House Party. He would close out the show with a segment called Kids Say the Darndest Things. Mr. Linkletter would ask questions, and the children would respond earnestly, but their innocence and naivety sounded amusing. For example, he asked one young boy who wanted to be a pilot what he would do if all four engines went out on the airplane. The boy responded with, "Our Father which art in Heaven…."
There are many lessons for us to learn from observing the little children. Not simply innocence but trust, humility, and equality. In faith, we understand our loving parent provides and cares for us. In humility, we set aside our egos and agendas and become obedient to the One who knows what is best for us. Our biases and preferences set aside, we see each person as a sibling, different but the same.
When we become like the little people we once were in our hearts and minds, we become the disciples Jesus desires. Sacrificing those things that we have grown to consider so necessary for the simplicity of a child. Like the young boy, our first instinct is to pray when the questions come.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Let us keep in prayer those killed during the shooting at the elementary school in Texas yesterday. We pray for their families, schoolmates, and the community and share their grief.