February 25, 2017
Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.
A few years ago, I read a book called [i]When Children Became People: The Birth of Childhood in Early Christianity[/i]. In it, historian O. M. Bakke examined the stark differences in the way children were viewed and treated in pagan culture and by Christians.
For Jesus' disciples carried his words into a culture that treated children as creatures, or even as [i]things[/i], lacking the faculty of reason that defined a full human being. To present a [i]child[/i]--a thing that could be exploited and killed when inconvenient--and childhood as models for the spiritual life? Absurd. Countercultural. A radical, reality-shifting stance.
It is easy for me to shake my head at narrowness in the distant past, but Jesus still lives, the gospel is still preached, and it is preached to me. Jesus challenges my assumptions, right now. How do I respond? Defensively, rationalizing because I know better?
Or can I listen...like a child?
Jesus, you speak to me, and setting aside my pride, I listen.
- Amy Welborn
Sirach 17:1-15|Psalm 103:13-18|Mark 10:13-16