At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
"If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!
"If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire." Matthew 18:1-9
I love being with children and young people. There is an honesty that seems to disappear as we age, we move to protect ourselves as we work to get ahead. Among children, there is a straight-forwardness about feelings and situations, and an excitement about learning. Children are curious and ready to learn and explore. They are willing to admit they do not know and always ready to embrace and laugh.
Jesus is instructing the disciples about how to live. They wanted to know who was greatest and were told that those who were humble and genuine as children were prized by God. The Creator made us to live with curiosity, humility and compassion. We can be lead astray and lead others likewise, and are commanded to spend our time in humble pursuits, living honestly humbly and always welcoming.
Today I ask God to help me be child like in my daily living. May we be honest, genuine and humble so that God's love may shine through us. May we lead by following in the footsteps of Christ, who chose to live humbly and welcoming all to be transformed by love.