‘And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’ Matthew 18:3 (NIV)
A couple of weeks ago, I had the joy of being part of the Brooklyn Park Year 2 Sleepover. There was much excitement, pizza and games, and we finished our evening of fun with a bedtime story and a devotion. I then directed the girls to head to their room and start getting into bed, leaving the boys to do the same. As I walked into the girls’ room, expecting to be greeted with giggles and chatter, I suddenly realised that the sound didn’t match what I was anticipating. I paused for a moment to take in what was happening. Our Year 2 girls were all in their beds and were taking turns to pray aloud together.
As I sat and listened to each girl take her turn, I marvelled at the simple, open and honest prayers being shared – “Thank you God for pizza,” “Thank you God for friends,” “Thank you God that we can have a sleepover,” “Thank you God for looking after us and keeping us safe.” No adult had told them to do it, but they prayed because they wanted to. I honestly felt quite honoured to witness our children sharing their hearts and faith so openly and organically with each other.
Just in this last week, our ELC held their very special end of year Celebration Evening. Again, the beautiful faith of children was on display. What a privilege, to watch three- and four-year-old children sing their hearts out to Jesus, praising without inhibition and with pure joy. I don’t think a single adult went home without sore cheeks from smiling!
As I reflect on these moments, I’m drawn back to the verse in the book of Matthew, when Jesus talks about having faith like that of a child. I am reminded of the simplicity of approaching the throne of Jesus in the unfiltered, genuine and open-hearted manner of a child. Life can be so busy, so full and at times so complicated and messy, especially at this time of the year. As we are leading into the Christmas season, I feel that God is reminding me to make room and take the time to see through child-like eyes. To remember the birth of our Saviour, in an uncomplicated, unhurried, uninhibited celebration that gives praise and glory back to Him, just like the beautiful faith demonstrated by our children.