Jesus Christ Had It Right: Be Like Our Children

“But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it'” –Luke 18:16-17

This particular New Testament Bible passage has always fascinated me–especially when I was a Greek Orthodox girl in an elementary Roman Catholic school where the nuns outnumbered the lay teachers.  I didn’t understand or know many of Christ’s teachings during those years but that one stuck with me because it told me that Christ loved us kids no matter how noisy and unruly we could be.

Taking this thought a step further, this passage came to my mind again in recent weeks as I’ve had the honor to witness my youngest child take his first steps and continue at an unbelievable pace.  My son is almost a year old and the progress he makes on a daily basis makes me feel like as busy as we adults can be, it doesn’t seem we’re making the same advancement as this little guy.  He greets each day with an awe-inspiring smile in the morning, ready to receive whatever the adventures du jour are.

So in simple framework exegesis, we can agree that this short passage alludes to the impatience and annoyance that Christ’s inner circle initially felt at people crowding him with their babies and children beckoning for touch/acceptance/blessing.  They tried to shoo them away and Jesus immediately “rebuked” them and then called the young to him directly while declaring that it should be understood that we must try to be like our children in order accept the gift of the kingdom of God.

While in church with my children, I must remind myself to not get trapped by the concerns of sticking to the current status quo in regards to how well we sit, stand and whatever other physical ritual we have in our worship time.  What is most important for our children to know and understand?  That they are loved and accepted.  That they are desired and destined for greatness in their individual development.  That love is God’s gift to us all and we are able to receive it and share it.

These restless and tiresome years with the little ones are so fleeting and one day they’ll have more challenges than we’d care for them to have to encounter.  However, we can learn from them right now how to accept that there is nothing we can do to earn or win the love of God.  It just Is.  Love without fear, doubt or rejection–let’s be like a little child with the kingdom of God at our fingertips.

R.V.S.B.

WHY BOTHER? FOOD AND RELIGON FOR THOUGHT

WHY BOTHER? FOOD AND RELIGON FOR THOUGHT

As I wrestled last week with my very hyper older son while trying to hold on to my squirming infant son in our Greek Orthodox church pew during worship service, I thought: Why bother? The same question pops into my mind when in the middle of a grocery aisle with two restless little souls while trying to decide which dry food good is healthier for my family’s pantry. It seems there are a couple items I’m quite passionate about when raising our children, one rooted in spiritual sustenance for their souls and the other being physical fuel for their bodies. I’m guessing that I’m not the only mom out there in any given country that feels the same way.

WHAT’S IT ALL FOR? Sense of Incense and Icons

So back to last week: As I chased the rabbit in my mind who was screaming “why bother?”, I reminded myself to look around and remember why I do bother, along with my husband, to go through our weekly ritual of attending our Greek Orthodox church. I cannot speak for other faiths such as Jews, Muslim, Hinduism, et cetera—but in my faith, besides the obvious theological tie to the miraculous belief of the Trinity and Christ’s Resurrection…I appreciate the hope of things to come and that while we’re going through the rumble-tumble ride that life can be, we can find ways to help and love each other. There are so many things about our world and the creation beyond our atmosphere that I don’t know that I’m in awe of the God force behind it all and I’m grateful for the chance to live and participate. If I can share this with my children in a way that inspires them to embrace life, love and respect for others then I will be at peace at the end of my journey here. This can be a tough philosophy to re-enact when dealing with a temper tantrum or a tired-tot meltdown, however, I encourage perseverance if not to help you remember what’s important to your belief system in your practicing faith. My husband and I do agree that ultimately if our hearts are not in it, then it does our children no good and it would be a moot point for us to attend church if we are only bitter shells of ourselves in the congregation.

FOOD IS FOOD, RIGHT? Discerning What’s Best

The ridiculous part about this food subject is that many of in the “civilized” world have way too many choices. It’s sort of like how women hundreds of years ago didn’t have so many choices when it came to family planning but now are sort of paralyzed sometimes in whether or not to have children. When it comes to planning our family’s menu day to day, I make countless choices in the lead up to the final product that arrives on the table for the main meals and snack times. For my own crazy methodology, I like to seek out organic and locally fresh ingredients when possible. Organic and even local can mean very high prices: in those instances I may purchase conventional or just skip that type of meal until later. It helps to educate one’s self on the foods you and your family prefer to eat so as to know if you want to make a concession or not. But don’t peg me for a purist, either. I often tell family and friends that in the end there’s a reason I give thanks and pray before every meal, especially when eating out at a restaurant: I can’t control every single ingredient sometimes and as we’re finding out in recent news, I may unknowingly purchase something under a false label or omission of vital information (Google search the recent news on meat labeling for items such as poultry and pork-evidently many of those meats are injected with solutions like water, broth and other things to plump them up and they’re not currently mandated to be labeled as such). Let’s not forget-for some of us, fixing food is our way of loving our family and friends, so it’s worth the hassle even with the “bewitching hour” for parents (I highly recommend Crockpots!)

FOOD AND RELIGION, IS THAT ALL? The Countless Other Things

As a lover, mother, daughter, sister, friend and wife that I am these days, there are many other things that I strive each day to share and instill in my children. I know that I’m not perfect and many times can be hypocritical in my beliefs—sometimes even changing my views on what I thought was my solid opinion beforehand. What’s most important must be how we love each other and when it comes to our children that’s truly what they need the most is our unconditional love, all the rest of the countless other things we try to give/share with them are just the details of life that make us all unique.

RVSB

Wyoming Life

"God bless it and keep it wild"