People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
It is hard for us to imagine why the original disciples tried to prevent people from bringing children to Jesus. What was their problem? Were they too busy to be bogged down with something (or someone) that seemed so insignificant? Were they afraid of wasting their valuable time playing games? Or did they simply conclude that children didn’t have anything to offer them?
Whatever they were thinking, it seems that they were too caught up in what they thought was important to recognize what really mattered. They had a lot of responsibilities; from scheduling to crowd control. With so many tasks to perform, and so many people coming to them, it would have been easy for them to lose sight of the fact that Jesus came not to create the perfect institution, but to share God’s perfect love. What the original disciples saw as an irritation was actually the whole purpose of their mission; to touch the lives of all God’s chil- dren and offer them the hope of new life.
September 10 is Rally Day at First UM Church. Sunday School will resume with classes and activities for all ages. It is also a time for all of us, the young and not quite so young, to ac- cept Jesus’ invitation to return from the busyness of sum-
mer and receive the kingdom of God with a child-like pres-
ence. Through worship, fellowship, service and the oppor- tunity to grow together, we come in the assurance that God’s grace is available for us all.
We hope you can join us as we celebrate together the ac- cepting and renewing presence of God’s unconditional love.