Daily Worship

Little Children

May 18, 2022 1
Image credit: Unsplash

Matthew 18: 1-5 (NRSVA)

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ 2 He called a child, whom he put among them, 3 and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

I delight in watching my two youngest grandchildren playing in the garden, for they play with such joy and delight without a hint of pretension. Everything is exciting. So much is new as they constantly make new discoveries. They can play for an hour with a few twigs, stones and leaves as they allow their imagination to run wild. Watching a butterfly moving from flower to flower gives them great joy. They love to play with water and screech with laughter as they jump in mud puddles. The most apparently insignificant things fill them with joy and a sense of amazement.

The truth is that little children still have that sense of joy, delight and wonder that we so easily lose as we go into adulthood and then move into our older years. Perhaps that is why Jesus says, “. . . unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” The following poem, which I wrote many years ago, is aptly entitled, Little Children:


Walk little children walk

   for the sun shines upon you.

Run little children run

   for the day is before you.

Dance little children dance

   for the Spirit directs you.

Play little children play

   for the delight that engulfs you.

Smile little children smile

   for the good that surrounds you.

Laugh little children laugh

   for the joy that overtakes you.

Cry little children cry

   for the pain all around you.

Mourn little children mourn

   for the injustice nearby you.

Trust little children trust

   for the Kingdom is within you.

Arise little children arise

   for the King now awaits you

   in the New Heaven and the New Earth.




Heavenly Father, restore to us the joy of your salvation. Recreate within us a sense of childlike joy and delight at the wonders of your creation. May you re-imagine our hearts and minds that we may see the world and its people from the perspective of the New Heaven and New Earth. Amen.