Scripture: Luke 18:15-30
Key Verses 15-17: 15People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. 16But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 17Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”
Reflection: When my children were small, and their cousins were small, we always had a children’s table at Thanksgiving. Instead of an antique tablecloth the cloth on the children’s table was easy to wipe clean. Instead of the good china and crystal, the children’s table had unbreakable plates and glasses. If there was time beforehand, some kind of fun centerpiece or craft materials were included for the kids to enjoy: something to draw on, a turkey made from cookies and candy, a mini pumpkin to decorate after you finished eating. It was a fun table to sit at, at least for a while. The older cousins eventually protested and squeezed into the adult table. They were too old to sit with the little ones anymore.
One year the very oldest decided he would move back to the children’s table. “I miss the crafts,” he said, and his sister teased him for the rest of the day. What he really missed was helping the younger ones. I watched him pour gravy for one cousin, and pick tomatoes off the salad for another. I watched him prompt his cousins to hold hands around the table for the blessing. I watched him help with the part of the turkey craft that year that was supposed to be easy. I watched the whole table of kids laugh hysterically together when the feathers he was trying to turn into a turkey tail blew all over the room. The little ones were overjoyed that their big cousin was sitting with them.
We tell the story about Jesus insisting that the disciples let the children come to him. The Lord’s table is big and wide and there is room for the whole family around it, children included. But maybe another part of Jesus’ teaching is that sometimes we need to go to the where the children are. Perhaps there is something they can teach us about loving God and neighbor and one another at their table.
Prayer: God of us all, open my eyes to what you have to show me. Teach me what children know about you, what adults might be forgetting. Help me welcome all your children with joy and with thanksgiving. In the name of Christ the Lord I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].