Read Mark 10:13-16
The innocence of a young child is something which brings pure joy into the world. The way in which a child is so accepting and trusting is definitely refreshing. A child has not been impacted by negativity, human failure, disappointment and prejudices as have older youth and adults. An adult might call the child naive yet many adults crave that naivety in their own lives.
The attitude of a child is what Jesus puts before the disciples and us in our passage for today. The children were being brought to Jesus to receive his blessing. Apparently some of the disciples found the children to be disruptive and a nuisance so they blocked them from approaching Jesus. Upon witnessing this, Jesus instructs the disciples to let the children come to him. He then informs all that these children possess the kingdom of God. Jesus says not only do they possess the kingdom but they are the example each person should follow if the kingdom of God is what is desired.
Like the disciples, we may be shocked and a bit confused about Jesus’s words here. Experiencing what we have in life, how can we possibly have the attitude of a child? What does such an attitude even look like? First, we need to have an attitude of wonderment. When we look at creation and life, we should experience awe, curiosity, and joy. Second, we need an attitude of acceptance. We should encounter and experience each person as he/she is and not how we think they should be. Third, we must love with abandonment. Our love should not be conditional upon what we receive, or a set of criteria which we create. We love because everyone is a child of God who has received God’s love just as we have and do. Finally, we must believe even though it does not make sense at times. A child believes without the need to justify or explain.
What other aspects should be included in the attitude like a child? How can you follow Jesus’s instruction here? Do you need to make any changes? Spend some time observing a young child, then learn and follow.