This beautiful spring might make us think of the springtime of life, when we are children. Jesus said that unless we let ourselves be turned around and become as little children, we will not enter the kingdom of the heavens (Matthew 18:3). In what way does the Lord want us to become as little children? He wants us to cultivate the childlike quality of looking up to Him as our Father and being willing to do what He says. This quality is called innocence.
One of the most important jobs in life is to be good parents to our children, to help them become good citizens in this world and prepare for eternal life in the Lord’s kingdom. A key part of being good parents is to protect the innocence of our children. Parents have the responsibility to shield their children from too early exposure to evils they are not ready to deal with. Even if we are not parents, we either hurt or foster innocence in our community through our actions. Mainly our job is to refuse to get involved with harmful things such as adult book stores or reckless driving.
But innocence is not ignorance. Innocence is choosing to follow the Lord, freely and rationally. As we grow up, we have to confront evil. We see it first in the world around us and then we learn to recognize our own weaknesses. As their children grow older, parents want to share with them perspectives from their experience and their reading of Scripture so that they can learn how to think and act in the presence of evil. For example, they can learn to use the fast forward and eject buttons on the remote. And we can talk about issues in movies that we watch together or in books or magazines that we read.
We adults need to become as little children so that we may enter the kingdom of heaven. When we seek to be led by our Father, we also set an example for our children of acting morally for the Lord’s sake. We have the responsibility to lead our children, but not from an attitude of being the greatest, but of helping them grow up to go to the Lord as their Father. In this way we do as the Lord says: “ ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God.’ …And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them.” (Mark 10:14, 16)
Going to church to hear what our Father says can be one way we become like little children, spiritually. You are welcome to come to the Kempton New Church any Sunday at 10:00 a.m. Enjoy the spring!
Rev. Lawson M. Smith