How to see God like a child does

We just marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Has it really been 20 years?

 

September 11, 2001: This generation’s day of infamy. Or perhaps it’s the last generation’s day of infamy.

 

These days it’s hard to keep track of generations. Millenials, Gen Xers, Gen Zers, Boomers - for some reason we just have to put people in boxes.

 

Did you know – little kids ages eight and under, and those yet to be born this decade, are already being called Generation Alpha.

 

And those born between 1925 and 1945 were part of the so-called Silent Generation. Maybe those folks, our older church members, should sound off loudly from such a lousy name.

 

School teachers today are now teaching students who weren’t even alive on 9/11. Perhaps it’s difficult to relate to today’s teens on what really happened that fateful day and its meaning.

 

But the pictures, video and audio tell the story. And hopefully always will.

 

Christian Americans had to have been horrified that evil morning. What was happening? WHY was it happening? A few people tried to make the argument that the U.S. was being punished for, well, something. Nope, not buying that one.

 

Where was Jesus? How could He allow this to happen? Nearly 3,000 innocent people died – where was Jesus in all this suffering?

 

If you missed Sunday worship at Grace, you missed this amazing drawing and caption in the church bulletin…

 


Yes, you read that right – an ELEMENTARY school student drew this incredible graphic. For those of us who can barely draw a stickman it’s a remarkable piece of art.


And the youngster nailed it – Jesus was there on 9/11, welcoming His children home. Compassion ultimately reigned that day.


Remember the nation’s reaction? Not since December 7, 1941 was the country so united. And our military and intelligence forces went to work to “punish” the planners of such a dastardly event. They largely succeeded and in short order.


Compare that with today, 20 years later. Arguments. Mistrust. Acrimony. Despair. Partisanship.


You have to wonder that if a 9/11 event would happen again, would our country this time spend their emotions arguing amongst each other?


If the adults won’t act like adults, then perhaps it’s up to the kids to show the way.


Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
– Psalm 8:1-2 NIV


When’s the last time you witnessed a child at prayer? Head bowed, eyes closed, hands clasped. Most little ones may only know the simple prayers (“Now I lay me down to sleep…”) but they pray them with simplicity and meaning.


Humility is not strange to a child – it’s what they know. They haven’t learned yet about pride, about posturing, about outshouting others. They realize they don’t know everything and they’re learning all the time.


People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 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.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. – Mark 10:13-16 NIV


You’ve probably seen a painting or two of Jesus with small children. And He’s smiling. You can imagine His feelings at that moment – here is the epitome of love and innocence. Why can’t all people be like this?


Children somehow see the world through a different lens than adults. They see beauty while older types see ugly prejudice. They share hugs and toys and have no problem playing together. Adults flip birds and yell coarse language and seem to enjoy getting into mouth battles with others.


Where have we gone wrong?


Somewhere in the midst of “growing up” people seem to lose their love and compassion. We discover the apple from the "tree of knowledge." Life becomes more about money and competition and winning and smarmy spite.


Instead we need to look down – in contrition, but also down at our children and grandchildren. Let’s emulate the youngsters – in how they act, how they love, how they treat others. In their simplicity they SEE Jesus in nearly everything. That’s why Christ said..


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


The drawing above is the perfect example of the wisdom of childhood. But will we adults even take a moment to consider it?


From George Churchgoer