Friday, April 17, 2009

Somali Bantu refugee children growing up under the rule of Islam. Who will reach down and touch their lives?

I have written about children on many occasions. Jesus spoke about children, more.

Sunday I have the privilege of preaching in my home church while my pastor is doing a revival. I am very excited...and extremely prayerful.

Part of my message will come from Mark 10 where Jesus insists the disciples allow the children to come to Him.

This is a poignant moment. Not only because parents wanted the rabbi's of the day to speak blessing over their children, but because time was short. The disciples felt the collective tension that surrounded the road to crucifixion.

They did not understand all that was happening, but they knew from what Jesus said and did, that little time was left. In their minds, having young children run up to Him to receive blessing was unnecessary.

It is easy to see why they felt as they did. Fast forward a couple of thousand years, and look at how fast we live, and how we are always on the go. We are not busy with the Salvation of the world, and yet we push children to the background, routinely.

We get singularly focused on agendas that leave no room for interaction that produce joy and blessing.

When I think back to the things my children did when they were little, I cannot help but laugh!

What brings joy in the life of a child is so simple and in many ways profound.

The glee they derive from simple pleasures should be practiced by all. More common though is our proclivity to shedding joy in the moment and embracing responsibility as a pursuit, which seems to inherently contain the need for recognition and power.

We replace simple joy producing moments with pursuits of things expected to yield happiness...only the fleeting fulfillment never materializes in sustained symphony.

Who would listen to an orchestra for an hour when sixty second sound bytes are available?

Our lives are taken on the run, but the destination of most, Christian and non-christian alike, is often earthly treasure over heavenly reward.

Who has time for joy, when building a kingdom of clay is on the line?

Children are often shoved to the background of our lives and their voices treated as white noise, rather than pleas for truth and understanding.

Those who understand Jesus reaction to his disciples, practice investing in that which is truly important...the lives of others.

Few can see this.

Many come together quickly for building projects within the confines of a congregation, supposing that a bigger building will draw more people...maybe even unbelievers.

The reality is that imposing edifices are no more likely to bring the lost and broken than the closed hearts of those who serve self and claim Christ.

Neither are a draw for Him.

The joy and limited understanding of a child...eyes that fail to assign meaning to skin color...being broken over a stray...wanting to feed the hungry...these are the heart of Christ and the demonstrated direction of His ministry.

Where did we get the idea that holding hands with other believers inside a building that is impenetrable to the lost and broken is religion?

While religion has become a dirty word, Scripture says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

When this verse is quoted, the last part is most often left off. Perhaps the reason is that we are too busy embracing our worlds view of success and aspiring in the theoretical, to meeting the needs of the widows and orphans, yet our hands are filled and our hearts defiled, so we accomplish none of the above.

Who serves widows? Who meets the needs of orphans? Who keeps themselves from the worlds pleasures?

Almost no one.

When we begin to take the time to enjoy the children around us, we might just find that this verse is not so hard to accomplish. There is joy in serving. It is a tangible joy that brings with it, abiding peace and sustained fulfillment...because it is of God.

When we take seriously His word, to store up for ourselves treasures in Heaven, our hands will release unimportant things...and be found...serving joyfully.



Post a Comment

<< Home