Lessons of hope from little ones - 28 August 2020

By Xanthe Hancox

It was a Jewish tradition to bring small children to a great rabbi so that he could bless them and pray for them, much as we still do today when we dedicate a child and parents to the Lord.

But the parents of the children in Matthew 19 are severely rebuked by the Lord’s disciples. They felt that the Jesus was more than just a great rabbi, and his time was too valuable to spend on small children. Jesus, in turn, rebuked them for their attitude regarding these children. He told the disciples in no uncertain terms that little children were what the kingdom of Heaven was all about.

Children have a lot to teach us about faith and hope. They approach God with a sense of wonder that many of us have lost as we have gotten older and encountered the complexities of life. But don’t mistake a child’s wonder with simplicity. Children ask the same big questions (Where is God? How big is God?) as we do – they are just more comfortable living in the mystery of them. And they aren’t afraid to ask if they don’t know. I wonder if this is the truest reflection of what it means to have faithful hope.

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!

Children are am important part of the work of the Bible Society of South Africa, too. The Bible-based literacy project promotes basic literacy, as well as Bible literacy, especially among children in the foundation phases of education through Bible-based literacy material. Bibles for grade 7 learners makes Bibles available for learners in the poorest parts of our country. Please remember these projects in your prayers today.

Prayer: Thank you for your love of our children, Lord. 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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