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.”
it is hard to imagine
your disciples trying to prevent
children from coming to you.
But I am afraid we disciples still do.
We make church an adult activity.
We build separate buildings for children and youth.
We hire experts to handle children and youth
while the pastor ministers to adults.
Or we parents fill our children's lives
with other activities that draw them away from you --
Sports, family trips, activities.
As a preacher,
I know I am guilty.
I sometimes use big words.
I write too much liturgy in the bulletin.
I expect a certain level of musical ability...
Forgive me for the barriers I put up
that keep children from being welcome
in Bible study,
in pastoral care.
You are VERY clear:
"let the little children come to me;
for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs"!
So help us open not only our doors
to children and youth and their families
but also our worship,
Teach us to become
more like the children you seek to bless.