Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity


Child of God: You Are Much Beloved

posted by Carolyn Henderson

In our supercilious, adult way of thinking, we often consider the world, and lives, of children to be unimportant and insignificant. This is not wise. Summer Breeze, original oil painting by Steve Henderson.

My niece has a friend whose son has tumors. At a recent visit to the children’s hospital, they passed by a little girl — 3 years old — surrounded by her stuffed animals.

As my niece wrote on Facebook:

“She was joyfully telling them all how much she would miss them, (saying) goodbye and how much she loved them one by one.”

I stand in awe, bereft of speech, at the sweet innocence and trust of this child. She possesses a wisdom that is far beyond  that of many many adults — and it is not that we don’t have the capacity to see, like this little girl does. It’s that, through the years, we have buried the child within us — who represents the core essence of our being — in the words of the world.

The Value of Children

Jesus recognized the value and worth of children. His disciples were more like the rest of us, discounting their importance in the real world, shunting them to the side because they’re noisy and irrelevant. Matthew 10: 13 – 16 tells how people were bringing children to Jesus to be blessed, and the disciples were intervening, sending the children away:

“(Jesus) 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. 

“‘I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.”

Children are defenseless, vulnerable, and necessarily trusting. As adults, let us remember what it feels like to be a child, and come before Christ with the freedom to be weak. Lilac Festival, original oil painting by Steve Henderson.

Four Spiritual Laws, or One Savior?

Ask the average American Christian how to get to heaven, and he will mention the Four Spiritual Laws, a series of Bible verses pulled from throughout the New Testament, explaining how all humans are sinners and separated from God; Jesus took the punishment for us; we need to repent of our sins and ask Jesus to save us; and Bingo, we’re saved.

Many Christians repeat the process multiple times throughout their life, generally during church alter calls, because they’re not sure they got it right the first, second, third, or twenty-second time (mea culpa — but no more — true Christianity frees a person from slavery and superstition), and I always wondered,

“If this is the ‘proper’ and ‘official’ way to become a Christian, then why didn’t Jesus lay it out Himself in a series of statements? Why do the verses have to be pulled from throughout the Scriptures?’”

What Jesus Says

Jesus did lay it out, several times, but in His Jesus-y, think-about-this way, and the verse in Matthew is one of them:

“Anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

Please don’t panic: this verse is meant to be an encouragement, not another obligation, and if you don’t know how to do it, think of the little girl at the head of this article:

She actually believes in heaven. She believes it’s a good place to go. And she’s one of those children that Jesus takes into His arms and holds.

So are you, my friend. At one time, you were a child, and you were vulnerable and defenseless, dependent upon the goodness and wisdom of the adults responsible for your care. Now in our society today, we like to vilify the family unit, calling pretty much everything dysfunctional and holding out our substitutes — government programs and social welfare interference — as the preferred solution, so it’s becoming increasingly difficult to understand what Good looks like, but what it means is this:

The Child in You Is Still There

When you were three years old, you couldn’t take care of yourself, and you needed someone bigger and stronger and wiser than you to ensure that you were fed, clothed, and warm. There was someone, somewhere, you intrinsically trusted to do this for you, and your life was in their hands. (I sincerely hope that those hands were good.)

As a Christian, you are a child of God, and although you are an adult now and know all about paying bills and meeting the property tax obligation and putting groceries on the table, you still need Someone bigger and stronger and wiser than you to ensure that you are fed, clothed, and warm. You gave your life to Him, and He holds it, and you, in His arms — and you can trust that He cares for you, and He cares about you.

His hand ARE good. If you don’t believe me, listen to the little girl.

Thank You

Thank you for joining me at Commonsense Christianity, where I encourage all of us to look for, long for, seek for Christ’s deep abiding love which He showed to those children, so many years ago. Children are a gift that God has given to a hurting world, to teach and remind us what trust, hope, faith, and joy look like.

Posts similar to this one are

High Anxiety: Conquer Your Fear

Christianity Is Simpler Than You Think

Angry Jesus: I Don’t Want to Follow Him, Either

 



Previous Posts

When Mighty Church Leaders Fall, Do They Crush the People Underneath?
In our younger years, my husband the Norwegian Artist and I bicycled through small-town America, and for housing, we often asked a local church if we could camp in their basement. Encountering everything from open-armed hospitality to outright hostility, we ultimately found ourselves attending a l

posted 7:14:29pm Aug. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Are We Being Bullied to Think a Certain Way?
Think of the term, Judeo-Christian values. We bandy it about, especially we Christians, and the idea is that, because Jews and Christians share a common heritage (the Old Testament, and Abraham as our collective father), we should support one another, without question (although I'm not sure if

posted 8:04:15pm Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Christianity Is Not a Political Party
We have two sets of friends that we have always wanted to put together in the same room: Set A is classic U.S.A. Republican party, and they worship George W. Bush. The world ended on the day he left the White House, and if they believed in saints, George would be greater than Peter. [caption i

posted 7:11:11pm Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Longing for Success
If you want people to read an article you write, or watch a video you post, just make sure that the title has the word, "Success" in it. (I know. I just did that. Did it work?) Fortunately, I am not attracted by these headlines that really reel the readers in, (preferring, instead, articles with

posted 7:31:44pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Alone But Not Lonely
I live in a society that is desperately afraid of being alone. So alarmed are we of solitude that we define normalcy by how many groups we belong to: "I go to church, Sunday School, and small groups." "I volunteer through our Give-Back-to-Others program at work." [caption id="attachmen

posted 7:13:16pm Aug. 18, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.