So Matthew and I visited Greenville Christian Fellowship yesterday, and it happened to be their Children's Christmas Sunday. It was pretty darn cute, and quickly escalated from shy kids running off stage to all of them shouting the Christmas songs with no melody in mind. We were sitting behind one of the youngest girls, who had on her special red velvest dress and her blonde hair up in pigtails just for the presentation, and she couldn't keep still or quiet. She happened to notice us sitting behind her and immediately started to "talk" [like 2 year olds do] to us about a yellow marble in her hand and anything else that came to mind, even though she had no idea who we were. Her mother then started trying to get her to turn around [because every adult knows you don't talk to strangers ; even I know that], which wasn't succesful until it was time for the little girl to go onstage.
And I started thinking...doesn't Jesus say we are to become like little children if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven? Doesn't He mention our need for "childlike faith"?
What if we approached other people like little children do - with no judgement or bias or preconcieved notions of how they'll respond to us? What if we had that chillike faith in other people? I know that ultimately we must have faith in God above all else. But Jesus was willing to put Himself out there, put other people before His own comfort, and reach out to people whether He thought they'd accept Him or not, just to be able to love them. What if we could be as open and welcoming to people we don't know as children are? Sure, some people may not really appreciate your openness, but that's their issue. Kids don't care, they don't get offended and take it personally if someone isn't courteous enough to fake interest in what they're talking about. They just go open up to someone else. They expect all other adults to be like their parents and approach other adults with that same level of trust and respect , and if we take that in reference to looking at God as our Father, we can learn a lot from children. While I was thinking about this, the verse came to mind where Jesus is talking to people when they want to get into Heaven, and He says "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' [Matthew 25:35-40]
I love that parable, and it always really makes me consider how I treat other people [which I'll be the first to admit, isn't perfect]. I think that's where Christianity has lost the most in the last century or so [maybe before that]. Jesus started all of this with Love, and what made His Love different from any other love on the earth was that everyone was invited. No one got turned away from His Love. They could reject His salvation, but He would not ever stop loving them. And that's how we should be. People can reject us and our beliefs and our message, but that doesn't meaned we're allowed to stop loving them. If Jesus practiced that logic, where would we be?!
I'll stop there, because I don't want to get too rambly. :] I wanted to share this video too, because it made me happy, and I want to make one really badly. Now this would make for fun camping!