Mark has Jesus say to the disciples, who were trying to prevent him from being bothered by people bringing their little children to him for a blessing, Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.
Children can sometimes be little devils, exploring their boundaries of appropriate behavior. Jesus is not talking about those moments of a child's development. Jesus is talking about the wonder, excitement, joy, captivated involvement, that a developing child can exhibit when captured by something new and enticing. Many of us have had a similar experience as adults when we recapture our faith....finding a community in which we can worship after years of wandering....There is an innocent freshness to which Jesus is referring when he looks at these little children....a scent of unspoiled delight.
One of the things we are challenged with in today's Gospel reading is to think about those moments in our life where we have been dumbstruck by that innocent freshness of God's love for us, and wonder how we can bottle it.....share it with those who need to have that experience.... and uncork that bottle when we need to smell that scent of newness again.
Copyright 2011. The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.