I--Children of the Kingdom.
LORETTA LAROCHE motivation speaker suggest everyone might put on RED CLOWN NOSES when sitting down to eat. Just look at each other and laugh—talk will be silly, just like children. O to be a child again!!
I wonder how many have said the same --
O TO BE A CHILD AGAIN!!!
In Matthew’s scripture reading this morning,
Jesus is telling us we must become like a
LITTLE CHILD to enter the Kingdom of God.
I thought this morning we might take a look at
Jesus teaching and try to understand see why we
must become like a child.
Did you notice the disciples were having trouble getting his
message, remember, they were fighting over who would
have the best seat in the Kingdom. Jesus said to them
“let the children come to me, do not hinder them, for such
belongs the Kingdom of God.” In saying that Jesus laid out
the requirements for receiving and living in the Kingdom.
Mark phases it like this
“Truly...whosoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
I wonder if Jesus had trouble finding adults to use as examples?
DO YOU REMEMBER NICODEMUS?
-What shall I do to inherit eternal life?
-We read in the scripture Jesus said “You must be
How can I be born again, I’m an old man?
Jesus didn’t back down, ......”truly, truly I say to you
unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom!”
-Well to me it seems Jesus is telling us we must somehow be reborn into our SECOND CHILDHOOD if we hope to get into the Kingdom of god.
Do you see the dilemma? We all know people who
appear to be in their second childhood. My wife Sharon,
often thinks I’m in my 2nd. childhood. ( ie. scooter)
-If a person is becoming senile. We would say he/she is living in their second childhood. We would express it tenderly and with affection.
-Or, an elderly widower who is running after a woman 30
years his junior! We’d say the old codger has reverted back
to his second childhood.
-When we say Second Childhood we usually are referring to
something a person had no control. It just happens
because of the loss of some of our faculties.
-But Jesus is saying Receiving and Living in the Kingdom
Is-- living in our Second Childhood by “Deliberate Choice.”
-It is deliberately taking on the characteristics of Children.
It might be a good idea to look at the many
QUALITIES we find in children-JOY,--CURIOSITY--
I’m sure you could think of others, there are three additional qualities I would like to share with you, this morning.
----the capacity to wonder.
---capable of spontaneity.
FIRST IS-- CHILDLIKE TRUSTING FAITH;
So, Firstly I think we must have childlike FAITH. I’ll try to give an example..“Rafting on the St.Lawrence River”
(AGE 10-CROSS 3 MAIN BLVD--RAFT--STRING)
Mother followed us, saw what we were doing .
She was beyond herself with fear for our lives! I was
spanked and grounded. Funny mom didn’t have the
same Faith in the rafts as we did. So, it seems adults
don’t have the same interpretation of faith as children.
As kids, we had a trusting faith in that raft, but as
adults, we have developed a more practical faith
“kind of prove it, then I will trust it. We are more
suspicious and guarded!”
But Jesus is clear in His words, ”Let the children come
to me for such belongs the Kingdom.”
We all remember the comic strip “Dennis The Menace” and
the Wilsons Dennis’s next door neighbour. Well Mrs. Wilson is talking to Denis...
-Mr. Wilson was just like you, Dennis when He was young.
-got dirty, had fights, stole cookies and broke things.
-Dennis repeats this to his friend who says, “Gee he sounds
like -a regular guy! I WONDER WHERE HE WENT WRONG.!!
That’s what Jesus might ask us, “where did we go
That’s what he said to his disciples, “Hey fellows, you
got it all wrong.”..arguing about the best seats in the
Kingdom. You’ve missed the point, of what I’ve been
teaching, you need the trusting FAITH of a child.
-Faith to enter the Kingdom is childlike, because children
have the capacity to TRUST.
I remember one summer......Billy’s Cows.(fishing with Tyler) the cows were curious and lined the river banks watching us.
It’s amazing when I think how huge a cow must seem to a little kid.
When it was time to go home, he took my hand and we walked right into the group of cows. WE said “AHA” to the cows. The cows moved out the way. He TRUSTED ME, that I would protect him.
What a great feeling you have when someone trusts you!
So we see that children have the “trusting faith” that we adults need in order to live the Kingdom.
Having the capacity to WONDER have you noticed, children are curious and want answers, often they are satisfied with the simplest of explanations. Like --
What makes leaves turn red and gold?
--a little fellow named Jack Frost paints them.
When does he paint them?
--before you get up in the morning.
They see the world as music and poetry, a world of wonder.
The books they enjoy are a clue Harry Potter--wizard of oz-
Dr. Seuss; a land where rabbits talk, robots have real
hearts and Grinches steal Christmas.
We would be poor without their vision, and Jesus said we
need their ability to wonder to enter the Kingdom.
Sharon and I were delivering MEALS ON WHEELS one day with our grandson Tyler. He was intrigued by the various appliances of old age. all the canes, walkers and wheelchairs. At one house I saw him staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for his questions, he merely turned to me and whispered, “The tooth fairy will never believe this!”
So children have that wonderful capacity to wonder, but they also have SPONTANEITY-- Another quality we need to live as children of God.
Jesus always seemed to live in the moment,
Jesus had no home, no wife. How about his meals?
Jesus lived each moment knowing or hoping he would be looked after by his followers.
Jesus had no planned speeches, no idea he would be healing a blind person or preaching to the crowds or feeding the masses or debating with the Pharisees.
And he never knew where or when he would be breaking bread with friends, tax collectors and the poor—everything was spontaneous.
This poem expresses the same feeling of spontaneity that Jesus experienced in his life.
She came in to the kitchen,
Where we were drinking tea.
Nearly four, she banged the door
and said “can God see me?”
Her farther lowered his cup and smiled,
his eyes caught mine.
He said yes of course, God sees you
all day and when you’re in bed.
She fingered her skipping rope
handle dangling on the floor,
Then slowly wound it “round her hands”
and walked back out the door.
Then down the garden path she ran,
her small black boots light tripping.
We saw her face light up with JOY,
“LOOK GOD,” she cried “I’M SKIPPING.”
It’s a great day when we come to that point feeling
so good about ourselves we spontaneously let God know.
Hi God thanks for the beautiful day!!
Gee God, I really felt your presence today, thank-you!!
Many of us have done so little leaping in Faith, Jesus is saying we need to recover the childlike capacity and to put more TRUST--WONDER and SPONTANEITY in our lives!
Jesus said “Whosoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter,”
Jesus calls us into our Second Childhood. Are we ready?