Matthew 18:1-5 (NIV)
"At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."
I forget this - so easily. I am so busy trying to a good job of being an adult, that I forget that I am not actually supposed to be. And yet, all day long, I am surrounded by children and their ideas and their ways of looking at the world.
So I should smarten up and listen to them.
My nine year old has asked me three times in the last two weeks.
"Mom, can we just invite people to go to heaven with us?"
My 'adult instinct' tells me to launch into a lecture about how it really isn't that easy, how there are big important adult things to consider such as sanctification, justification, transformation and probably other 'ations'.
But in these last two weeks, as my mouth opens to begin the lecture, a smaller, quieter voice says, "SHUT IT, tell him 'yes'". And so I have, I have said,
"Yes, nine year old, it is the exact right thing to do. Invite everyone you love and everyone who crosses your path to come to heaven with you."
But here's the catch. His current circle of influence is fairly limited, due to the fact that he cannot drive, isn't allowed to walk by himself any further than the park on the corner and he doesn't like spelling. So for him to sit down and type this and send it into cyberspace would take about two years. But not me.
My fifteen year old just finished her grade 10 humanities course, handed in the last assignment set this morning. We home school, so it is my job to sit with her and try and decipher the stuff neither of us are very good at deciphering. I have learned A LOT. The last unit was about 'recovering the voice of the marginalized'.
For me, the tricky thing about gaining knowledge is that once I have attained it, if I don't do something with it, I feel less than stellar. So I have these two pieces of knowledge that have collided in my head these last couple of days - we need to look at the Kingdom as a child would and we need to be the voice of the marginalized - and unless I do something with these pieces, I am going to feel less than stellar.
Right now my nine year old is in a marginal position. He has an important invitation to extend, but really no voice to extend it. So it is my duty to send it for him. If I had half the guts he does, I would have just sent out the invitation myself, a long time ago. But it has taken a child to wake this one up.
We had been discussing the return of Jesus, when He comes to collect the believers - and apparently, this is how a child would approach said situation. He would look at all his friends and the people he loves and he would ask,
"Hey, this is my God, He is alive, would you want to come to heaven with me?"
And it is as simple as that.
John 6:26-29 (NIV)
"Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”