At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
When I was still in college and first married, I worked at a day care with all two-year-olds. I have always loved working with kids, love teaching and enjoy the silliness and honesty that one finds with small children. We spent a god deal of time potty training and teaching the kids how to dress themselves, including putting on their coats themselves. The best way to teach a small child to put on their coat is to put the coat on the floor, stand at the hood, slip the arms into the sleeves and flip it over your head. We did this exercise several times daily as we went to play outside. Unfortunately, I often found myself in adult gatherings, throwing my coat on the floor in order to put it on, only to be gaped at by the real sophisticated adults.
The disciples are arguing over importance and prominence. Maybe they were angling for compliments and favors. Their question was answered by Jesus in a very unexpected way. When asked who is the greatest, Jesus chooses a child as the greatest and insists that we all need to humble ourselves like children if we are to honorable in God's eyes. What we hold up as honor, classiness, sophistication and status are totally ignored by God. God doesn't care about our possessions, our lawns, our degrees, or any of that. God cares about our hearts, and that they are filled with love and forgiveness.
Today I ask God to help me be child-like - humble, loving, curious and vulnerable. May our arms always be open, our lips full of songs, our legs full of dancing and our minds always curious and welcoming. May we grow this day into the saints of God, those who choose to be child-like and vulnerable, and who choose to protect the most vulnerable in our midst. May our lives be dedicated to weakness, so the strength and glory fo God's reign and love might shine through us today.