Tuesday, 12 August 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

I bet when the disciples asked Jesus who is the greatest in the kingdom of God they were expecting answers along the lines of "the holiest", "the most kind", etc. They must have been surprised when Jesus asked them to be like children. You see, children in ancient times, being defenseless and totally dependent on others, had no rights, position, or privileges other than what other adults gave them. Thus they were subject to the whims and desires of their parents, and the way they were treated ranged from spoilt pets to free labor force.

There must be some qualities inherent in children that helps them to be great in the eyes of God. I can think of two:
- total faith and trust in those with authority over them. Toddlers seldom question what they received from their parents (love, care, teaching, moral code, etc.), but simply accept and integrate whatever they received. Similarly we are to trust in God and His church. This does not mean we are not to question, just receive certain Truths as absolutely correct (the Apostle's Creed for instance) and depend on God like a child would depend on his/her parents.
- readiness to learn anything and everything. Children are extremely open-minded, absorbing facts and language like sponges. They use these as building blocks to construct their understanding of the world. They also ask questions in order to elicit more information, and they easily abandon constructs that do not work. We should be like this also, i.e. our life and view of the world should be constructed using the Word of God. Christian life is not meant to be an alter-ego or another personality, but seamlessly integrated into our everyday living. To do this successfully we need to know more about what counts as Christian living (WWJD, Church rules, etc.). We can't do this with blind faith, but with open minds, prayerful hearts, and unquenchable desire to seek God and His Church.


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