Saturday, October 18, 2014
People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and 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.” Luke 18:15-17 NRSV
I am sitting in my coffee shop “office” and Malcolm, a sweet, attentive, intelligent, vivacious 7-year-old boy has introduced himself to me. I am astounded at his joyful, curious personality.
He asked me what I was doing and came over to my computer where I had the guidelines up for writing the Light a Candle meditation. I told him I was writing a meditation for people in churches. He thought a minute and said, “you mean like for when churches have a candle ceremony when someone dies?” I told him, no, not that kind of lighting a candle. I told him we are lighting candles to help churches remember to pray for children, for all children.
I can think of no better way to cherish a child than to listen to him, invite her to learn about what you are doing, let him talk about his life, show her you are truly interested in her being. Malcolm has reminded me of what it means to cherish a child and the joy it brings.
When we look at the words used when we cherish a child we see that they are action verbs: invite, talk, show, listen. We are indeed called to act. We must act if we are to let children lead us. I pray you meet a Malcolm today.
God, we pray for your children and trust them to your care. Guide us to feed them, physically and spiritually, protect them, laugh with them, listen to them, to invite them, enjoy them, and to cherish them. Amen.
Olivia Stewart Robertson
Family and Children’s Co-Minister for Disciples Home Missions and the Faith Formation Team of the United Church of Christ