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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lancaster County PA Amish farm corn crib
The field corn is now being harvested all around us.
This corn crib on an Amish farm is almost full!

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"Jesus Loves The Little Children"
"People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch 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'" (Mark 10:13,14).

This morning we have some special little guests in our home. Four children 4 years and under! Their moms are going out for a shopping expedition and we have been enlisted to watch the kids while they are out. Safe to say that for several hours the atmosphere in our home will be a bit more lively!

Jesus with children
One of my favorite pieces of Christian art is a picture of Jesus surrounded by little children with a big smile on His face. A man once told me he was troubled at the notion of Jesus ever smiling. Interestingly, he was not a joyful individual and I suppose it was because of this he didn't want to picture Jesus as being happy. Well, I have a harder time imagining Jesus taking these precious little ones in His arms and having a look of indifference or sadness!
Our Lord's statement in the daily text indicated His contraculturalism. In those times children were seen by many as a nuisance. In fact the disciples had sought to forbid the children from coming. But Jesus welcomed them.
True followers of Christ have been impacted by His example and today there are so many wonderful examples of ministry to children; feeding them, clothing them and presenting the wonderful message of God's love in the name of Jesus Christ on a level of understanding common to their age. How we especially need to be reminded of the desperate plight of the children in oppressive countries.
Through the years we have hosted children from all over the world in our home. My mind floods with memories. Indeed they have been red and yellow, black and white!

Today's text is the only time in the gospels the word "indignant" ("much displeased" in the KJV) is used to describe Jesus' attitude.  The word in the Amplified Version is described as "indignant and pained." This was directed to the disciples who rebuked those who were bringing little children to Jesus.

Perhaps they thought they were doing the Lord a favor by protecting Him from the "nuisance" of those who had come bringing little children for Him to touch.  His time was limited, crowds took up valuable space, children were noisy and pampers were yet to be invented so babies could also be...you know...a bit smelly. And then, where do you dispose of the soiled cloth?  Jesus surely had more important "adult" issues to deal with they likely reasoned.

Yet Jesus responded, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

I am particularly intrigued by the phrase, "for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."  The phrase "such as these" certainly refers to the children and perhaps also those who brought them. Jesus wanted them to come to Him and not be hindered by unauthorized screening from the disciples.

The ever living Lord continues to proclaim to our generation, "Let the little children come unto me." Those who are created by our Savior are to be cherished by His servants. May we never hamper these small lives but instead let us embrace them in our affections, guide them through our Christian service and teaching, and be in prayerful intercession for them. Today let us heed the example of our Lord with a genuine love for all the children of the world!
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
They are precious in His sight--
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily Prayer: Father, You welcome all to be a part of Your kingdom: the young and the old, the weak and the strong, those born in ideal circumstances and those conceived and born in the worst imaginable settings. All the days ordained for our lives were written in Your book before one of them came to be. May our welcoming voices and warm touch make an eternal difference to the children born in our hostile world, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. We want to follow the example of our Lord Jesus who lovingly embraced and tenderly welcomed the children to spend time with Him.  Amen.

We received an interesting note from a long time reader yesterday.  She had given up a son 46 years earlier to adoption and recently reconnected with him. It turned out to be a wonderful experience. In her words, "What a blessing he is!"  She asked us to offer a prayer of thanksgiving on her behalf which we did and to pray for other mothers who found themselves in seemingly impossible situations that also made the agonizing decision to give up their child for adoption. For those who will not reunite here on this side there will be many such reunions on the other side. I believe there will be similar expressions of love, understanding and gratitude during those reunions.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.

Little children
Ester with Zane, Seth, David & our Soloist Adorae.  Though three are facing the microphone nerves took over and one lone voice sang "Jesus Loves Me" at the conclusion of our podcast.
Nice job, Adoree!

"Jesus Loves The Little Children"  Video  Cedarmont Kids

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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