Bless the Babies
One of my favorite things about ministering in Kenya is connecting with the children. After preaching in both Kakamega and Webuye when I go outside for a break, all the kids greet me. I wish you could hear their beautiful Kenyan accent as they say, “How are you?” I respond with, “I’m fine,” and then they all press in to shake my hand. And this is even after they have already listened to me teach for an hour sitting quietly at rapt attention.
For the first twenty-five years of my pastorate, the kids were all there with their parents in the service. A few weeks ago, I was listening to one of the messages I gave back then, and it reminded me how I began each Sunday having all the kids come gather around. I would sit down in the midst of the squirming, enthusiastic throng and tell them a story. I even got to hear the recording of my daughter, Jenae (she’s now the mother of three boys), answering some of the questions I asked the kids. What special moments!
I also cherish a moment like when I held my youngest son’s first born in my arms and dedicated him. He interrupted my prayer of blessing by punctuating it with explosives that the entire audience could hear.
Today’s reading in Luke reminds me that Jesus would’ve got a chuckle out of my grandson’s free natural expression. It’s only the stuffy religious ones, sometimes even some of Jesus’ devoted followers, who get uptight about the messiness children bring into a worship service and try to put the brakes on children and parents coming to Jesus with their babies.
“Now they were bringing their babies to Jesus for Him to touch them. On seeing this, His disciples seriously rebuked these parents. But Jesus welcomed the parents with their infants, saying, ‘Let the children come to me and don’t forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to little ones like this. Count on it! I tell you, that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child, will never enter it.’” Luke 18:15-17
A Child Evangelism worker once told me that the only children who won’t come to Jesus are those who have been forbidden by an adult.
It’s important to kiss the babies.
LORD, bless moms and dads today who make it a priority to dedicate their babies to You, and then seek to teach them all about Jesus. In our churches help us to include the little ones, always remembering the power of their example of humility, trust, and openness—the requirements we all need to enter Your Kingdom.
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