Welcoming Children and Approaching Life Like a Child

Free Bird by Debbie Gonville Miller

Free Bird by Debbie Gonville Miller

Matthew 18:4 (NRSV)
Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Oh, for the attitude of a five-year-old! That simple uncluttered passion for living that can’t wait for tomorrow. A philosophy of life the reads, ‘Play hard, laugh hard, and leave the worries to your father.’ A bottomless well of optimism flooded by a perpetual spring of faith. Is it any wonder Jesus said we must have the heart of a child before we can enter the kingdom of heaven?
Max Lucado

I heard recently that a typical small child smiles three hundred times a day and typical old men smile three times a day in our culture. What has happened between six and sixty? Whatever it is, it tells me that religion is not doing its job very well.
– Richard Rohr

Whoever wants to be first
must be last of all and servant of all.
                   —Mark 9.35

Humility Prayer by Steve Garnaas-Holmes
God, grant me the courage
to go without armor
or the privilege of being right.
Give me the humility
to renounce my imagined rank,
and take the lowest place.
Give me the heart to love without power
and serve without status,
to be last and not first,
a child in a world of big people.

God, grant me
the faith to trust my belovedness,
the wisdom to rely on your Spirit’s power,
the humility to serve,
and the courage to love.

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, ‘Do it again’; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, ‘Do it again’ to the sun; and every evening, ‘Do it again’ to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. – G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Chew quietly your sweet sugarcane God-Love, and stay playfully childish.
Your face will turn rosy with illumination like the redbud flowers.

Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Mark 9:36-37 (NRSV)
Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

Click here and Click here to read two different reflections entitled As a Little Child, by Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Kindness to children, love for children, goodness to children —
these are the only investments that never fail.- Henry David Thoreau

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.
-Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It is beyond dispute that a child, even before it begins to write the alphabet and gathers worldly knowledge, should know what the soul is, what truth is, what love is and what forces are hidden in the soul. It should be the essence of true education that every child learns this and in the struggle of life be able more readily to overcome hatred by love, falsehood by truth and violence by taking suffering on itself. -Gandhi

Mark 10:15
Whoever does not receive the reign of God as a little child will never enter it.

As A Child by Steve Garnaas Holmes
Not as: cute, innocent, pure.
More like: vulnerable, at risk,
powerless, weak and unsure,
easily overlooked,
worth little to the Empire
(will you be this?)
last to be counted,
first to be hurt.

As a child, awkward, still learning,
always a beginner,
necessarily open,
dependent, reaching upward,
needing to be led,
willing to be carried in arms.

As a child, uncomprehending
of what it has taken
to save you.

As a child, beloved
without your having
made yourself so,
fiercely beloved.

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