“Happy September,” everyone! It’s our second in North Carolina and I’m looking forward to seeing what will emerge as the theme for this month. The underlying emphasis on Life, Gratitude, Faith, & Passion is deliberate – that’s the lens through which I look at the world; but how it all plays out on a day-to-day basis often turns out to be more of a surprise.
One surprise was the record number of hits this blog recorded during August (14,500); that’s in addition to the growing base (1,338) of “followers” who have elected to receive posts via email.
At church yesterday we celebrated another baptism. For me it set the beginning of our second year into powerful context, a living symbol of the witness and mission of Wake Forest Presbyterian Church. “Rooted in Christ; Growing Together in Faith; Reaching out to others.”
- How are young families going to thrive without being rooted in the life of a faithful body of believers?
- How are children and teens going to learn to engage their full potential as children of God without a church family?
- Not the kind of church we attend when it’s convenient, or when there’s a special occasion, or absent something else more interesting – but an active, compelling community of living faith.
This is why we are here in North Carolina. We’re here to be part of God’s initiative of transformational love in this community. We’re here to encourage others to live as if Jesus really meant it when he said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” - Matt 19
“When Jesus had placed his hands on them,” the Bible goes on to say, “he went on from there.”
HE WENT ON FROM THERE: Today I’m excited to be part of a faith community where we understand what “He went on from there” means. It means that Jesus moved forward in his ministry from the context of “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” It means that our receiving the Good News with the open-spirited trust and enthusiasm of children is exactly the reference point from where we should be moving forward – always.
Rebekah pointed out that children tend to engage and receive life with their arms thrown wide and their hands open; whereas adults often stand in front of Jesus with arms folded, palms facing out, defensively, or fists clenched tight.
Are we moving forward, leaning in toward Jesus, with our arms open wide like the children? Or are we standing in a defensive posture, unwilling – or afraid – to take a step in the direction of Promise?
Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. – Matt 19:13-15