This post is something I’ve been thinking about some time, but also spurred on by Pr. Borghardt.
We’ve all been in church surrounded by kids. We think, "Great, now lets hope they pay attention and don’t bother me." We all know the kids I’m talking about. The ones with toys, or those coloring books passed out by the elder, or are just fidgety and full of energy. You know, just regular kids. We look down on them – I know I have. "They should pay attention. Jesus is here. Don’t they know that. They should know that. We’ll have to teach them…."
Don’t be bashful – you’ve thought it. Or something close, at least once… I have. But what of Jesus’ words? "Of such is the kingdom of heaven." Jesus says Heaven will be full of those who are like children, and not like crabby adults. What does that mean?
Well, we think that those kids need to sit up straight, look forward…you know pay attention like we do. Oh sure we adults pay attention, don’t we? What was pastor’s sermon about this week? What was one of the readings? What hymns did we sing? We’re just as bad as the kids, but we can hide it.
That’s right. We’re just as fidgety, and full of energy. What of the kids? The sparrow finds a home around the altars of God, can’t the child play in the presence of JEsus? I mean not even a little? Or do we think that all the kids Jesus took into his arms were as stoic, well behaved, and well kempt like we do? I’m sure they were full of energy, playing, and maybe a bit dirty for Jesus, but he loved the kids. He wanted them. ALl of them. I’m sure he even smiled when they came around!!!
We don’t really pay attention all the time, do we? We can zone, in and out, but at least we look like we’re paying attention… Such pride. At least the kids are honest about it. But look at the children, talk to them. Do they love Jesus? You bet they do! Do they ever not trust Jesus? Nope, they always trust him. No doubts in their minds…not one. "That can’t be," we might think; but did you ever think that its true because their baptism works?
We’re the ones who doubt. Our love fails. But we look like we’re the best in church when we’re the most stoic, well mannered, and the one who has the best posture in the pew. The kids? No doubts, all love for Jesus. And their joy spills over into playing (dancing?).
Sure our love fails, and we have our doubts, but our Baptism works too!!! It covers us with Jesus, like the blanket the kid might have, and that Jesus covers our failed love and doubts. What joy!!! So be like a kid…smile a little. We might sing in our joy, "This little Gospel light of mine…" As we should. But lets not forget that Jesus says, "This little child of God is Mine – in Baptism I made him mine!" In the name of Jesus. Amen.