Bible Study

Mark 10:13-16 (NIV)

Bible Study

I love it when my church celebrates God’s love for all children on Children’s Sunday. For my church when Children’s Sunday rolls around there’s a specific reason for it. It allows us the opportunity to make sure we’re aware of children everywhere.

As a children’s book author, I’m all about children everywhere. One of the best parts of what I do aside from the writing is visiting schools. I love to talk with students about writing and how important books are in our lives. How reading can unlock the wonders of the world. I talk with them about the different genres of books and how to look for just the right book. We talk about the process of writing. The hard work and determination that goes into a book. How the author puts their entire heart into the words. The time it takes to get a book published. Where ideas come from.

It makes me feel as though I’m inviting them into my circle. A circle that gets wider and wider with each visit.

See what I mean. Now that’s some big circle.

We are all beloved children of God. Otherwise, why would God have sent His only Son to save us? Children are laughter. They’re enthusiastic, strong, smart, inspiring, necessary, generous, and spectacular. Consequently, children must be present with us for them to grow in their faith.

The most glorious and joyous sound in God’s ears is the pitter-patter of feet through the halls of the church. I remember when I taught Vacation Bible School. Talk about the pitter-patter of feet! More like the clomping and pounding of feet. The noise level may rise but it’s better than the silence of a dead church.

Jesus loved children. His disciples didn’t understand this. The parents wanted to experience Jesus and his blessings. They also wanted Jesus to lay His hands on the children and bless them. The disciples began shooing the children away. But Jesus rebuked his disciples saying—don’t you get it? This is what life is all about. Kids are a blessing. As adults, we should always be encouraging kid’s spiritual growth. Children are wired for a connection with Jesus. When we encourage that connection it can only produce good stuff.

It’s our responsibility as adults to help kids lean into that connection. When we do, we realize that kids can teach us about that same connection with God. Kids learn through rituals where they can experience God’s grace. Kids love traditions. Take for instance my granddaughter, Haylie. When she was a toddler, I would take her to storytime at the library. She loved it. Then after storytime when we got back into the car, I would give Haylie her sippy cup of water (yes, the child loves water) and I would give her a toddler-proof cup of goldfish or “gosh” (long “o”). It became a tradition. So, every time we got into the car, she expected it. Wanted it. Loved it.

The best atmosphere we can create for kids is to knock down any barriers that prevent their connection. Jesus tells His disciples that unless they become childlike in their wonderment and acceptance of God’s grace, they will never enter the kingdom. That’s sobering. I’m sure the disciples had a stunned look on their faces. Never enter the kingdom? That falls under the serious category. Then Jesus took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. I can just imagine the awesomeness of that moment for those kids. Jesus, scooping them up in His arms. The excitement they must have felt. The overwhelming joy that must have filled their little hearts.

Take for instance bubbles. My granddaughter goes bananas over bubbles.

When’s the last time you got that excited about bubbles. Showing kids the amazing things God has provided to us is just like that. The utter excitement over bubbles. Fostering the wonderment of the world God created. Being forever lost in those wonders.

In 2016 the Chicago Cubs were in the World Series. My cousin’s son is a huge Cubs fan. I truly believe he loves them more than food. Anyway, the Cubs hadn’t won a World Series in 108 years. Yep, that long. Cub fans went out of their minds! All you could hear from the announcers was, “CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!” The sign at Wrigley Field shone bright with the words CUBS WIN!

Childlike awe and wonder. Seriously, is there anything like it?

Kids know when they need help. We seem to lose that ability as we grow older. Pride most likely. I know I can get a little prideful at times. It’s not that we don’t teach our kids to grow and be self-sufficient. But we want them to grow in the knowledge that there will be times when they’ll be in need and that they will need God’s help. His strength, His love, and His assurance that He’s there beside them and wants them to connect with Him. See how that goes back to helping your kids connect with God?

We’re called to be like Jesus by being there for all the kids who need to know they are blessed by God. Doing something significant as a church by reaching out to the kids we encounter and becoming a blessing to them. Widen your circle of love. Widen your circle of understanding. Widen your circle of forgiveness.

Here’s my challenge for you today as you read this blog. Tell someone they are a blessing. It doesn’t matter who that someone is. A child. An adult. Why would I make a challenge like that? It’s an uncomfortable thing to do, right? Who does that? It’s awkward. It’s embarrassing. No, it’s necessary. Imagine what that might do in the life of someone who just might be going through a difficult time at the moment.

As Christians, we’re called to do this. We are called to tell the world they are a blessing. Are you up to the challenge? Isn’t there someone who could use those words? Why me you ask? Why do those words have to come from me to someone?

Why not from you?

It can’t be that hard to widen your circle.

            And that’s what I learned in Church……see ya next time!