Hunkered Down Devotion

Mark 10:15 (NIV)
15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

These words from Jesus are probably familiar to most of us.  And as it comes right after he welcomes the little children to his side – one of the more iconic ‘images’ from the gospels (and from all of the pictures/paintings that were hanging in so many of our Sunday school classrooms growing up) the stark nature of this passage is sometimes overlooked or softened.  

We focus on that beautiful picture of Jesus surrounded by little children, maybe even picturing ourselves among that lucky group.  Because we often, rightly, read verse 15 along with the preceding two verses, we don’t always wrestle with the challenging nature of this verse.  

To begin with, any verse that includes a warning from our God about the possibility of not being able to enter the kingdom of God (one of Jesus’ favorite terms for heaven) is one that should get us to sit up and pay attention.  Additionally, since it seems pretty important, can I get an exact, step by step definition of what it means to ‘receive the kingdom of God like a ‘little child’.  

Right away, I think we can agree that it doesn’t mean being childish, or acting immature. Instead, I think it has a lot more to do with what we might call being child-like.  The kind of wonder that is hard to describe but that is captured by the look in a child’s eye.  Receiving God like a child is a process that is both inquisitive, most kids I now have almost unending questions, and yet is also willing to trust as we take the hand of the a loving parent we know we protect and care for us.  No matter what.  

Sharing God’s Love

Prayer:  Lord, you are our perfect, loving parent.  Help us to trust and receive you like trusting children.  Amen.

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