Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Childlikeness

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 -- Week of 5 Epiphany, Year One

To read about our daily commemorations, go to our Holy Women, Holy Men blog:
http://liturgyandmusic.wordpress.com/category/holy-women-holy-men/

Today's Readings for the Daily Office
(Book of Common Prayer, p. 946)
Psalms 119:97-120 (morning)       81, 82 (evening)
Isaiah 59:15b-21
2 Timothy 1:15 - 2:13
Mark 10:1-16

"Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs..."

The east window over our altar at St. Paul's is a stained glass rendering of Jesus embracing children.  A reference to his words of welcome is underneath.  I love that window.

What are some of the characteristics of a childlike faith? 

Children receive readily.  They have no sense of modesty, as if they don't deserve some gift.  Only joy.  Here -- this is for you.  Thus follows the squeal of delight. 

How wonderful if we could receive God's love, acceptance and gifts with such instant delight.  God loves you.  Yes!  (squeal of delight)  God accepts you completely, and opens the divine arms.  Yes!  (we run instantly; no hesitation or qualms)  God forgives you for whatever foolish or childish things you have done previously.  Yes!  (does that mean I can have some candy now?)

No woeful dialogues about worthiness or earning.  No ongoing chains of guilt.  Just simple acceptance of wonderful gifts.

When we tell children -- "You are so smart.  You are so strong.  You are so good." -- they simply accept the blessing.  We tell them, and so they know -- Yes, I am very smart.  Yes, I am very strong.  Yes, I'm a good boy; I'm a good girl.  No equivocating or false modesty.  They receive the standing that they are offered.

God gives us gifts.  You can organize so well.  You have a way with words.  You see others' needs.  You are so smart.  You are so strong.  You are so good.  Well...No.  Not really... we counter in our grownup fussiness of pride.

Children are so spontaneous.  They can turn on a dime.  They can live in the present.  They can so often let go quickly.

Children have no problem letting their needs be known.  I need that candy.  It is a powerful urge, and they turn to us in expectation.  Elsewhere Jesus invites us to pray with such straightforward need and expectation.  Ask.  Seek.  Knock.  Let your needs be known.  Sometimes you get your candy.  Sometimes you don't; it will spoil your dinner.

Children simply are who they are.  Let it be. 

In time, we teach them how to construct little false selves.  But before that, they just are.  Childlike.  Without pretense or apology.

It's a new day.  A gift of infinite value.  Let's go play.

Lowell

__________________

Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Click the following link:
--
Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at missionstclare.com -- Click for online Daily Office
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html --  Click for Divine Hours

Discussion Blog:  To comment on today's reflection or readings, go to http://lowellsblog.blogspot.com, or click here for Lowell's blog find today's reading, click "comment" at the bottom of the reading, and post your thoughts.

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life: 
We aspire to...
    worship weekly
    pray daily
    learn constantly
    serve joyfully 
    live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas

3 Comments:

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous janet said...

Here's a snowball tossed your way - SPLAT!!

janet

 
At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved reading this. So good, and my shoulders releasead about 2 inches. Thanks,
Marcia

 
At 8:03 AM, Blogger Lowell said...

A two-foot snow can bring out the kid in us all.
Lowell

 

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