And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Mark 9:36-37 ESV
Several years ago there was a young family at church that my wife helped out by picking up the children from school and babysitting them for part of the afternoon. David, was about seven and his little sister Leticia maybe five. On Sunday mornings whenever I saw them I would smile and say “Hey guys so good to see you!” . David would wave and give me a big smile but Leticia always hid her face behind her mom. At that time I was working as a translator in our church so I was always seated in the back, speaking through a wireless headset for those who didn’t speak Portuguese. Week after week, I would smile and wave at Leticia and week after week the results were always the same. “I’m sorry pastor.” her mother would say Leticia is just so shy.”
“No problem. She’ll smile for me one day when she’s ready.” I always answered. But as months passed I figured that day would never come. Then Sunday, just as I was just getting comfortable in my seat, I noticed Leticia getting out of her pew and then she turned, looked at me with a huge smile and came running to the back and jumped up in my lap!
That scene reminded me of today’s verse. Jesus was walking down the road with his disciples who were having an argument about which one of them was the most important. And right in the middle of the action Jesus reaches out and takes a small child by the hand. we all know that kid do not hang out with people they don’t like or trust. You can lecture them all day about being polite to your guests but you can’t force them to be friendly. But Jesus always had children around him. Maybe they had heard how he raised a sick little girl from the dead, or about the boy with seizures who Jesus had healed. Then there was the day when a boy gave Jesus five loaves of bread and did a miracle. Children showed up almost everywhere Jesus went. Maybe they liked being around him not because of the miracles but because, they knew they mattered to Him. He noticed them, talked to them and on occasion even took them in His arms and blessed them. So if we need healing are lonely or even just need someone to talk to, remember that Jesus is not far away. We don’t need to convince Him that we are important. All children are important to Jesus ( no matter how old we are!) You can just run and jump up in his lap today if you’re ready. He is just waiting for you to come! I also hope you love this rendition of Jesus Loves the Little Children sung by the Wilson family. It made my day!!!