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Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them, but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs." And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.
Matthew 19:13-15 (NRSV)
Ester Novaria lives in West Java, Indonesia. She often thinks of her younger brother as a child who doesn't really understand. Yet he understands a lot of information better than Ester does. Young children are often considered unable to understand or do things well. But having this mindset means we can miss the wisdom children have to offer.
In Jesus' day, society looked down upon not only children but also women, people with disabilities, and those who were poor or uneducated. These groups were considered immature in faith - even sinful. So Jesus' words in today's scripture verse challenged the status quo. He welcomed the children, even calling them the heirs of the kingdom of heaven. Jesus was reminding everyone that God's love is not limited to certain groups of people; God accepts all people.
As followers of Christ, we are also invited to accept all people. We should not demean the faith of anyone, including young children, for any reason. God's love is available to anyone who seeks God.
Prayer: dear God, enable us to love people of all ages and from all walks of life just as you love us, in Jesus' name. Amen.