Then he said, “I tell all of you with certainty, unless you change and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom from heaven (Matthew 18:3, International Standard Version).
My teeth were chattering as I held up my arms one more time coaxing my little girl to jump in the pool. To her the water looked too deep. And maybe Mommy was playing a trick.
I tried one more time. “Trust me, precious. I won’t let anything happen. Give it a try. Jump. I’ll catch you!”
Finally a different look replaced the fear that had been keeping her feet glued to the cement at the pool’s edge. With a giggle of abandon she leaped in the air and right into my arms.
The trust my daughter expressed in that act has defined my relationship with God. I may be reluctant initially, but I have learned to trust my heavenly Father’s arms—his promise to catch me.
When Jesus looked at the crowd of religious experts and told them they must change and become like children, I think in part he was referring to the same kind of trust. But even more, he was inviting them to leave the solid footing of their religious stagnation, rules, and self-absorption and find a new way of living in faith—of trusting in him.
As we move more deeply into this Advent journey will you trust God to teach you a new way to experience the age old story of Christmas?
TO PONDER: What parts of the Christmas story have become so familiar they’ve lost their mystery and power to change you?
FOR DISCUSSION: No matter our age, we can consider new ways to trust God. What can you do as a family and as individuals to move to a new level of trust in God?
PRAYER: God, I am so excited to see you anew, with fresh eyes and a trusting heart. Forgive me for the times when I doubt your love—your promise to catch me. Show me an area of my life where I can have greater “child-like” trust. To your honor and glory. Amen.