Monday, November 28, 2016
A penciled note with these words was taped to the front door of my daughter’s house recently: “Dear neighbor, I wanted to say sorry for ringing your doorbell and running away yesterday, Sincerely, your neighbor Nicholas.” (some words were misspelled) It appears that the accompanying note from the mother was written afterward. It read: “I wanted my son to apologize in person. Unfortunately, you weren’t home. I am truly sorry (and embarrassed) by his behavior. Respectfully, Melanie.” I suspect that different thoughts came to mind with our readers when they read about this incident but I trust that it first warmed your heart and reinforced the idea that there is still hope for our world today.
Many people still believe in the idea that children should be seen and not heard. I think that Jesus’ Disciples were in that group during his earthly ministry. In particular, I am thinking about the account in the 10th Chapter of Mark where we read about some parents bringing their children to Jesus hoping He would bless them. The Disciples, mistakenly thinking that their Master had no time to bother with them, rebuked the parents because of it. We read in verses 14-15: “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. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
To me, to receive the kingdom of God like a little child begins with the simple trust a child has in his parents, childlike faith, if you will. Very much like we saw in my daughter’s little neighbor, it includes making a sincere effort to right our wrongs. To many, it was really not that big a deal and did not merit an apology. One thing this little boy learned, however, was that he hurt his mom first. When she insisted he apologize for his wrong, he was probably also reminded that whenever he commits a wrong in the future, she again will be the first one to be hurt. Is it any different for us as the children of God? When we sin or offend someone, don’t we sin first against our Heavenly Father? It is His name we dishonor and whose reputation we mar first. And if we Love Him the most, should we not want to honor Him and not displease Him? As strange as it may sound to many people, we can all sometimes learn a thing or two from children.
God’s promise for today: (Psalm 103:17) “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children.”