Blessed… Would They Ever Learn?

Some people brought children to Jesus so that he would place his hands on them and pray. But the disciples scolded them. “Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said. “Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.” Then he blessed the children and went away from there (Matthew 19:13-15, Common English Bible).

I know I am not the smartest guy around. I often forget things I should remember. Sometimes I don’t pay attention when I should. I get it. I understand that.

What I don’t understand is how the disciples can forget so easily and so quickly. It was just the last chapter when Jesus talked with the twelve about welcoming a child and how if they called a child to stumble it would be better to have a millstone tied around their neck and thrown into the sea. It seems pretty clear to me, children are pretty important to Jesus and he wants them around.

They still don’t get it. Even though Jesus threatened them with a millstone around their necks if they didn’t treat the kids right, they just don’t seem to get it.

In some ways I do understand. As I have said previously, children were really non-people in the Biblical era. With few exceptions, they just weren’t important and the twelve thought with Jesus’ time constraints, they were doing the right thing to keep the children away so Jesus could focus on the people who were more important.

The thing to be gained from this particular text is this. Jesus is available to everyone. Regardless of nationality, race, gender or even age, Jesus is Messiah to all. Jesus is Messiah to folks like you and me. At the same time, however, Jesus is also Messiah to the youngest children and the oldest adults. Jesus is Messiah for the people we think are most important and for the people we don’t even notice. Jesus is Messiah for people that perhaps we never see.

You see, we are all children of God. We all stand in need of God’s love and grace. And, God will give that grace to anyone who freely accepts the risen Christ. Further, God always has time for the likes of you and I. It is also equally true that God has time for the children of the world around us. It might even be better if we were to say, God especially has time for the children of the world around us.

I am reminded of an old children’s song…

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
(Words by: Clare Herbert Woolston, Music by: George Frederick Root – Public Domain)

How much better off we would be and our world would be if we could just remember that God has special love for the children of the world around us. Something for us to ponder.

How do you bring the little children to Jesus?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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