Scripture: Mark 10: 1-16
Key verses: (13-16) People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14But 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. 15Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
Reflection: Last week, the youth gathered together early in the morning to go to Lazy 5 Ranch. Middle school to high school youth and chaperones were up early and excited to see the animals! One of our leaders told us about going to the ranch when he was 5 years old and one of the animals would jump off a diving board into a pool! As we loaded up the wagon, it was like we were all 5 years old again. We imaginatively and creatively engaged each other, ourselves, God and all of life so that peace and joy were proclaimed.
Now, we do not have time for the things we used to do as children. Taking the day for a wagon-ride through a zoo and feeding the animals right out of your hand gets in the way of work, appointments, preparations for the next activity of our lives. You might think that playing is frivolous, or immature but being like a child is a sign of God’s peace.
The disciples didn’t have time for the nonsense of children but Jesus didn’t even bat an eye. He made time to welcome the children and then invited others to be like the little ones. A playful life encourages us to participate in life authentically and is a sure way to glorify God. It is not easy to be like a child, so be deliberate in playing today. Invite others to join with you and create space to be child-like. Jesus had enough time to stop and so do we.
Prayer: It is children that know what makes their hearts come alive. God, help me nurture and practice being playful and claim the child inside of me so that I might remember what brings me to life in this amazing world you created. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[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].