This week we will be looking at children and how they relate to the Kingdom of Heaven. As Casey mentioned in his sermon, Jesus had some very interesting things to say about children and how they fit into the Kingdom of Heaven. When his disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in Heaven Jesus called a child to himself and said “here”. This child is like the greatest in Heaven. Unless you become like him,
you will have no part in the Kingdom of Heaven. This was no doubt astounding to the disciples because children are never the greatest of anything anywhere. In fact they are generally regarded as a nuisance by most people. I mean when your looking for someone who exemplifies the traits and characteristics of a perfect person in Heaven, was a child your first thought? Jesus took all their assumptions and stood them on their head. What has a child done to be great in Heaven? What can a child do to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven? These are profound questions, and I'm sure many sermons have been preached on this subject, but what do you think? What is your experience with children? How do you interpret what Jesus is saying here? What qualities of a child do you think would be desirable in the Kingdom of Heaven? What do you think we can learn from children? How would we learn these things? In a culture that largely minimizes our interaction with children, how do we spend more time with them? What do you think the benefits of such interaction might be? Are we too busy to pay too much attention to them? Do we even desire such a thing? Why or why not? Scripture says that “foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child” and this is certainly true, however, there is also a great deal of unassuming truth and sometimes even wisdom. Children can often say some of the most profound things you have ever heard. Anybody who spends time with children will also tell you that they will often speak truths that no one else will, (often to the chagrin of their parents). If Jesus had such a high opinion of children, then perhaps we should be more mindful of them as well. Our challenge this week is to see what we can learn about the Kingdom of Heaven by spending time with children. Do we need them as much as they need us? Or maybe more? You decide.