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Faith like a Child

Matthew 18:1-5

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

 

I remember as a child I was often told I needed to “grow up,” or do this or that a certain way because that’s how the world works, and I needed to understand and be prepared for the world.  Most of the time this instruction was a result from childish behavior and the normal learning, development, and growth that takes place in childhood.  However, what if there is an area where we take a step back and say it’s okay to remain child-like? What if we encouraged each other to hold on to our child-like faith instead of hurrying to grow up?

 

“Faith like a child” is a phrase that I heard growing up in Sunday School, in sermons, devotions, and in many more places.  I would say that I “understood” the message Jesus was conveying to his disciples, but it wasn’t until I was in the classroom as an educator that I began to truly understand what Jesus meant.  I would even go so far to say that I didn’t fully understand this phrase of, “faith like a child” until I began working with elementary aged students a few years ago.

 

My favorite day of the week is Wednesday when we gather in the sanctuary for our weekly chapel.  All our students, teachers, and staff members gather to worship our Lord and Savior, and it is a beautiful thing.  This is where I am continually reminded of Jesus’ message to his disciples in Matthew 18:1-5.  Each week in chapel I am blown away and stand in awe of the faith of the students!  The questions they ask can be deep and thought provoking, their ability to answer challenging questions without hesitation, and the love and joy on their face shines during our time of worship and causes me to stand in awe of their faith.  But my favorite part is how they show their faith through songs of praise!

 

I would say that I’m not an overly emotional person, but one place you may see my emotions come to the surface is during our weekly chapels.  Seeing the students’ faith in Jesus and the saving grace we have through him is truly a joy, blessing, and sight to see!  I don’t know if you’ve experience this or not, but I sure hope you get to!

 

Our role and calling as Lutheran educators is very clear in these moments where we see the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts and minds of the students.  We not only have the opportunity to teach them about God, his creation, Jesus and the forgiveness of sins we have in him, but one of our biggest opportunities is to learn from the children.  We can learn so much about what it means to truly believe and have faith in Jesus without all the clutter of the world around us. The students are teaching us this each day, but are we taking the opportunity to learn from them?  Can we take Jesus’ word and become child-like in this way?

 

My prayer is that we can all take a step back, learn to have this type of faith, and enjoy and praise God for the work he is doing in our schools and the lives of our students. Praise God for children we teach but who can also teach us to have faith in Christ like them!

 

May God continue to bless you, your students, and your ministry!

 

 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we thank and praise you for the mission and calling to be Lutheran educators, where we can openly and freely speak and teach of you.  Help us to have open minds and hearts to learn from the students in our care, that we may see what it means to have faith like a child.  Lead us, and guide us as we grow in our faith, but allow us to hold on to our child-like faith. We praise you, Lord, for all the blessings and grace you grant us each day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.



Derek Blessing, Lamb of God Lutheran School, Las Vegas, NV

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