Monday, April 10, 2006

The Faith of Children

On Sunday, which was Palm Sunday, during the children's talk one of them said something that sparked a thought in my mind. The faith of a child is an amazing representation that our faith is really worth something.

The kid I'm talking about, a little boy, is about 3 or 4 years old. In general he is a pretty funny kid. But during the talk our Pastor asked why the people put palm branches on the road when Jesus was riding into Jerusalem. He raised his hand and stated that it was so that the cars could drive on them. Upon realizing that this wasn't really the right answer he interjected this thought. "But when Jesus died on the cross he took away all of our sin". Of course we all know when you are a kid this is the right answer to any question asked at church but he truly meant it. Out of the mouth of someone who most would never consider as having a really valid opinion about many matters comes this important and simple statement.

The thing is he as other kids know is that one thing only truly matters. That thing is that Jesus died to take away all of their sin. They are not worried about the things that we disagree on in the church. Rather the faith of a child can take us right back to what is truly important and that is our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins. This is the only thing that matters to them and is what gives them confidence about their life. It is interesting that as we grow older we often lose this perspective on things. We find things that seem to be important but when it comes down to it that simple statement of faith is all we truly have and rely on.

I have been told that when I was in kindergarten I happened to be talking to my class and telling them about how Jesus died to forgive their sins. I guess my teacher had to kind of cut me short since I was in a public school and was explaining this. Where has this ease of sharing the Gospel gone as I have gotten older? I still share but it seems not as often as I need too or as easy as I once did. What is it about growing older that causes us to lose the sense of faith and ease that we had when we were young?

Perhaps this is why we are given this very common story of Jesus and the children in the New Testament. In Matthew 19: 13-15 Jesus tells the disciples to allow the little children to come to him and that the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as them.

Earlier in Matthew 18 we are told that unless we do not become like children we shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. This is surely a testament to the innocence and understanding of Jesus that the mind of a little child is capable of possessing so simply.

Even though they may not know much about life they have the ability to show us great faith. Although they may not necessarily know why they know they just know that Jesus died for them and that is what matters. It is amazing what we can learn when we listen to the little children around us.

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