G – Gospel: Mark 10: 13-16
This morning in church, we were treated to a fun as well as meaningful presentation of drama and video. There were moments of utter silliness, awkward volunteer selections, and bad puns. The typical Sunday morning church service, right?
If I told a hundred church-goers from various backgrounds about the service we had, some would be confused, some would smile but shake their heads, and others would wish they had been there. But along with those groups would be people who would say that wasn’t a church service at all. They might think we had ruined tradition or disrespected God. At the end of the service, one of the pastors said something that stood out to me. “God knows we like to have fun and be silly sometimes, but He also knows we need to be rescued.” We then watched a video of families telling the story of Jesus’ birth as they set up a nativity scene. I started to tear up when the parents said that Jesus came for you and me and held hands with their children.
I thought about the massive grins and bubbling excitement from the children in the room as they watched the silliness on stage. They wouldn’t have been paying that much attention to a sermon no matter how well-spoken the preacher. Jesus dealt with every one who came to Him in the way that reached them the best. With theologians, He discussed the words of the prophets. With a woman drawing water from a well, He spoke about meeting needs. With the children, He talked to them, gave them His attention, hugged them, and blessed them. God can use anything centered around Him.
E – Encourage: I Corinthians 3:18-20
When the disciples were trying to send the children and their families away, I’m sure it was because they thought the children were wasting Jesus’ time. After all, they thought He was putting together a plan to free Israel from the Romans. Certainly that was far beyond the understanding of children. But Jesus turned the tables on them and said they needed to think like children to understand His kingdom. The disciples missed the point of Jesus’ mission right to the very end. I have a feeling that those children got it. “Jesus loves me!”
R – Reflect: I’m one of those people with little, mostly useless factoids tucked away in my brain. Let’s call them “situationally useful,” if they are at all. I could learn everything that every university could teach me and still be the most foolish person in the world if I didn’t grasp something that my little nephews, aged 4 and 6, can sing and recite. “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.” I need to ground everything in my life in that truth and share it with everyone I can.
M – Meet
Tonight, I’m going to pray for my precious nephews. I am so thankful that they are surrounded by family and friends who love God and desperately want to see these two boys become saved.
Passages for tomorrow: Matthew 7:24-29 and Exodus 12:21-28