Summary: We are called as Christians to encourage children to come to Christ
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this he was indignant. He said to them
Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.
16 And he took the children in his arms put his hands on them and blessed them.
Story: In the late 19th century (1859), Blondin a famous tightrope walker had a tightrope placed across the Niagara Falls in the USA. He then proceeded to walk across it with a wheelbarrow in front of him.
Having reached the other side, he stepped down to the applause of the crowd.
He went up to members of the crowd and asked: "Do you believe that I can walk back on that rope without falling off?" "Yes" they each replied.
"Do you really believe I can make" he asked. "Yes" they replied. "We’ve just seen you do it"
"Then" said Blondin "Will you please step inside my wheelbarrow and come with me".
"Oh no" they replied "It is far too dangerous".
This is the difference between belief and trust.
And this afternoon - our Gospel reading has all to do with trust. We may be able to assnet to the creed – but the question that Jesus is asking of us today is will we trust him – like a little child trusts.
Jesus said this: “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it”
What is Jesus saying here?
Do we have to park our brains with our cars when we enter church? I don’t think so.
We live in a very cynical world. Most of us here today would say – that we stopped trusting like a little child many years ago. But I wonder if the facts fit the theory?
Story: When we turned the water on in the kitchen this morning – we trusted the water company – like a little child trusts its parents.
We didn’t get out our pocket “chemical sets” out to check that the pH of the water wasn’t too acidic or see whether or not there was an unusually high proportion of poison in the water supply. Like little children, we turned on the water and drank!
And it is that same degree of trust in God that Jesus is calling from us this afternoon. A working trust.
The reason I trust Jesus is because, unlike the Los Angeles lawyer – his character and his teaching is impeccable. And because I have a relationship with him.
Story: Before I went into the church, I was a patent lawyer and was Head of the Group Patent Department at Reckitt and Colman.
The Sunday but one before the Selection Conference – that lasts two and a half day in a residential retreat, I went to church for the evening service. As I went in I prayed: “Lord, if you have really called me into the ministry confirm it with a word this evening.”
I went into church – and found it was full – about 250 people and my usual seat was taken - so I had to sit by a pillar at the back.
As the preacher got up to speak – he said: “I don’t know what this means but I have been bothered by it all service. You in the blue jumper” he said pointing at me “God has called you into deeper leadership”.
I had asked God for a confirmation – no one had known of my prayer - and I got it.
God can be depended on.
If we give Jesus less trust than we give to the waterboard – we cannot expect to enter the kingdom of God
Trust is essential for any relationship – as all of you who are married will know.
William and Camilla have come here today to pledge that they will bring George up – so that George will learn to trust Jesus for himself. So he can learn to receive the Kingdom of God like a little child.
They can do that by reading Bible stories to him. They can do that by praying for him. They can do that by bringing him to church regularly. They can do that by teaching him how to pray.
In short, they can introduce him to Jesus – but at the end of the day George will have to make the decision one day for himself whether or not he will want to follow Jesus or not.