People brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them.
At a certain point in Sunday morning worship services our congregation’s young children make their way up to the front. When they arrive, I lead them in a short prayer and then send them off to a time of worship in which they praise God and learn at their level of understanding.
It’s fun watching them wander, run, walk, and trip up to the pulpit area. Some come all by themselves. Some come clutching an older sibling. And some come in the arms of their parents. It is also fun watching the people in the congregation as the children come down the aisle. Many have delighted grins on their faces as they watch the weekly processional—they are more engaged and excited at that point than at any other time in the worship service! They are seeing hope-on-little-legs, and it does their hearts good.
Jesus made room for children on his lap, and the church is called to cherish and make room for children in its life.
It’s not that children are innocent. Instead, their neediness teaches us about our neediness. Their readiness to follow teaches us what real humility looks like. Their capacity for wonder and joy teach us the nature of genuine worship. They point us to God and give us the hope and trust that he loves us too!
Thank you for your love of our children, dear Jesus. Make us like them in every way that gives you pleasure! We pray with great hope for your work in us, whether we are big or little. Amen.
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