Thursday, 7 October 2021
Title: Learning from a Child
Pr Mark Tan
Believe it or not, the earliest to wake up in my family is not my wife nor I, but my youngest, Nadia, who turned one year old recently. Like clockwork, she wakes up the moment the sky begins to lighten up, roughly six-thirty to seven in the morning, after which she excitedly beats my body to wake me up and begin my day. Why me and not my wife, some might ask? Well, she’s excited to join me, and by that, I mean making me carry her with one arm while I do my morning routine of coffee, wash and brush up, and getting ready for the day. It’s not that she only looks forward to breakfast, but she even looks at me with great interest as I brush my teeth, every day! Even when I have my quiet time with God, she either quietly plays around my feet or even sits quietly on my lap as I read His Word. Today’s reading made me thankful as not only would I enjoy Nadia’s time with me, but she’s teaching me something about how I should receive the Kingdom of God.
In today’s reading, Jesus teaches that “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Taking the double negative out, Jesus is saying that I should receive the kingdom of God like a little child in order to enter it. How does one do that? Jesus actually exemplifies the lesson by receiving the children, placed His hands on them and blessed them. The trick is not to look at the people passing the children to Jesus, nor is it assuming any inherent humility the children might possess. Rather, it is observing the child’s trusting spirit and willingness to be dependent and receive from others like a blessing from Jesus.
Which brings me back to Nadia. When she wakes me up and follows me through my morning routine, she does not have an agenda of her own, nor does she have any expectations for me to do anything different or even just the same. She is simply content and happy for the ride as I carry her, the simple breakfast that I feed her, and the soft cushion of my belly as I read His word. It is her trusting spirit that I give her only good things, and willingness to be dependent on me to do things for her, that Jesus is wanting me to learn.
As much as the world makes us sceptical of and pessimistic with one another, the beginning of freedom in the Kingdom of God starts when we willingly trust in Jesus and dependently receive eternal life from Him like a little child. Let Him take you wherever He wants you to go and feed you with the food of His word. Be content in sitting in His presence and all the love that He has for you. So, whenever you feel as though life seems so difficult and you can’t seem to find a moment of spiritual peace and respite, take a moment to observe an infant’s trust in his parent, and do the same in your trusting in Jesus.
Let us pray:
Almighty and everlasting God, You who are always more ready to hear than we are to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: pour upon us Your abundant mercy, and forgive us when our pride makes us afraid to trust in You. Teach us to receive all the good things You give us by grace, like a child receiving goodness from his parents, building our dependence in You against the backdrop of worldly fears and deceit. This we ask and pray in Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
经文： 马可福音 10:13-16
13 有人带着小孩子来见耶稣，要耶稣摸他们，门徒便责备那些人。 14 耶稣看见就恼怒，对门徒说：“让小孩子到我这里来，不要禁止他们，因为在神国的正是这样的人。 15 我实在告诉你们：凡要承受神国的，若不像小孩子，断不能进去。” 16 于是抱着小孩子，给他们按手，为他们祝福。
有些人可能会问，为什么是我而不是我的妻子？嗯，她很喜欢让我用一只胳膊抱着她一起参与洗漱和刷牙及喝咖啡，为新的一天做好准备。她不是只盼着吃早饭，每每刷牙的时候还饶有兴致地看着我。即使在我灵修的时候，她也会在我的脚边静静地玩耍，在我阅读神的话语时安静地坐在我的腿上。今天的阅读让我很感激，因为我不仅会享受 Nadia 和我在一起的时光，而且她还教我一些关于我应该如何接受上帝的国度的事情。