Our Lord, Jesus, loves the heart attitude and faith of a child. In fact, He addresses it directly in one of the stories found in the Gospel of Mark (chapter 10: 13-16)
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so He could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering Him. When Jesus saw what was happening, He was greatly displeased with His disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then He took the children in His arms and placed His hands on their heads and blessed them.
For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children or have childlike faith. I so would have liked to have been there in the crowd when this true story happened! And I might have been one of those parents who at first was scolded by the disciples, when Jesus then defended their children and had them brought to Him. As a parent of four wonderful children, I would have loved to have seen each of them held, touched, and blessed by Jesus.
Our indigenous SIU partners and grassroots leaders (and often myself and our SIU States based leaders) will do “Story Demonstrations & Dialogues,” what we call “Storying,” with certain groups of people in their own communities. Recently, when I was Storying with a small group of parents, one of them said to me, “Isn’t this kind of childish…memorizing, dramatizing and dialoguing these Bible stories?”
“Yes, it is,” I responded, with a big smile on my face, remembering and thinking to myself that the Lord loves childlike faith and the heart attitude of a child.
I then spent a few minutes explaining to this person that this process actually “internalizes” the story in my heart and mind and so that I want to live it out and apply it in my own life. The more I “Story” with others, the more the Lord opens my heart and stretches my mind to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach me. It seems like I always learn something new each time I “Story” with others BUT I’ve got to be willing to memorize, share, and dialogue with others and ultimately it does take a learning attitude and childlike faith on my part for the story to have a new or growing understanding.
Your thoughts on this? I would love to hear back from you.
Kent Kiefer is Executive Director & CEO of Scriptures in Use. Kent has a heart and passion for “reaching the unreached” and believes strongly that the oral arts/communication bridges training approach designed specifically for the indigenous men and women of peace around the world is one of the most effective means to reach the nations with the Gospel.