Dear church,

When you read Matthew 18, I hope you feel how much God loves you. If you haven’t read it yet, please stop and read it now. Just let the words of Jesus soak into your soul. Imagine what it would have been like to be there with the disciples, listening to Jesus explain the love of God to them.

The greatest in the kingdom of heaven is a humble one, like a child. There’s nothing special about the great ones in the kingdom of heaven. They are just kind of “average.” They might blend into the crowd. They don’t draw attention. There’s nothing about them that makes one turn to them. They are like children, running in and out of the crowd. The adults don’t pay them much mind.

We came home today to find Sam playing on the trampoline. He was having a mighty imaginary battle. It was nothing extraordinary. Kids do that kind of thing. Kids don’t think much of that kind of thing. Kids don’t really care whether they are noticed in their playing. They aren’t much for pretenses. For a child, life is something to be grabbed and squeezed for all the joy it can produce.

And normally I wouldn’t have noticed Sam in his epic imaginary battle on the trampoline. But Matthew 18 was in my mind. The great ones in the kingdom of heaven are like this. Like humble children who don’t try to be anything but that.

In our church, we have kids in the back of the sanctuary each Sunday (when we are meeting of course). And as I read Matthew 18, I am so glad that we do. We might hear those kids during our worship or during the sermon or during communion. And when we hear them, we might remember that the great ones in the kingdom of heaven are like “these little ones” – kids living the lives that God gave them, without a care in the world, without comparison to others, without a grasping for image or reputation or stuff. Just kids being kids.

I think about these things as I read Matthew 18. That was God’s reminder for me. There’s nothing about us that makes God loves us. We don’t earn his love. And if we wander off, he’ll come find us. And if we have enormous debts and plead for mercy, he will forgive us.

And so I hope you feel God’s love as you read Matthew 18. He loves you dearly!

Chris

 

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