Today’s reading was Mark 10:13-16
3 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on 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 Truly I tell you, 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, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
Leaving aside the fairly typical behavior of the disciples, about which I’ve commented previously, there are two aspects to this story which interest me.
Firstly, how interruptible Jesus is. He is on a mission that will end in death, and even within this chapter, he starts teaching the disciples about this. Yet even a man in the middle of such a massive mission has time to be interrupted. When I think about my life, my agendas, I wonder if I have the same level of “interruptibility” – where, if I just took the time, I might be able to bless someone. Of course, this does require a certain amount of margin in my life. If it is full to the very brim, then there’s not going to be emotional space to care about someone I hadn’t planned to care about.
The second point is how Jesus uses the children as an example. We are supposed to “receive the kingdom of God like a little child.” How does a child receive? A normal, psychologically healthy child will receive with open hands, with excitement, with optimism.
There will be no cynicism or guardedness. That comes later when we’ve been disappointed by life and/or people.
And I think Jesus calls us back to this former attitude. To be open to what he has for us. To be open to the fact that he might interrupt today with a miracle. That he might use you in a special way to bring hope and healing to another person. To leave behind our cynicism, our doubt, our disappointment and hope again. God is a good father with good gifts for his children. Let our hands be open and our hearts ready to receive.