Ask for the Nations
Exodus 30-31; Matthew 18; Psalm 114
I’m not entirely sure if I fully grasp the depth of what Jesus is saying to us here, but I want to delve into it with you.
Recently, I met with a woman who had been praying for many years for our building to be acquired by a church. When we finally purchased it, her joy was palpable. I learned about her dedicated prayers over the years and felt compelled to meet her in person. What a treasure she is!
My daughter, Juniah, joined us as we toured the building, listening to her history with the place. Then, she began to weep.
Looking at Juniah, she shared her heart. She spoke about aging – she’s now in her 80s, still remarkably healthy, by the way – and expressed regret over things she had heard or perhaps said about the upcoming generation, the young ones.
Holding Juniah’s hands, tears in her eyes, she lamented how her generation had often criticized the youth, saying things like, “They don’t work hard, they don’t get it, they’re not serious enough.” As she cried, she began to repent and sought forgiveness on behalf of her generation. She said, “We need you, we value the life you carry, we value your unique perspectives. Could you please forgive us? Can you forgive our generation?”
Juniah, sweet and gentle, replied, “Of course, and we need you too. We need all generations working together.”
This interaction resonated with me, especially today as I read Jesus’ words about children in Matthew 18.
Matthew 18:1-6 recounts a time when the disciples asked Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus responded by placing a child among them and saying,
“Truly, I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
Children, in their humble state, with no money, influence, or power, hold the full regard of God. He values the lowly, the simple. We can’t enter the kingdom of heaven with our accolades and achievements. We enter just as we are, without resumes or wealth to pave our way, bringing only ourselves.
The young ones around us have much to teach us. They are our teachers in many ways.
Perhaps today, if you have a young person in your life, take another look at them. Let Jesus’ words shape your interactions, allowing them to soften your heart a bit more.
After all, as the Psalmist says in Psalm 8:1-2,
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.”
Deepening Faith: Reflective Journal Prompts
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