See that you do not look down on one of these little ones.
For I tell you that their angels in heaven
always see the face of my Father in heaven.”
Matthew 18:10 (NIV)
Today I received an urgent call from a dear friend of mine. He told me that a good friend of his had suffered the loss of one of his children.
Instantly my heart went out to the person whom I had never met. There is something especially obscene about the idea of a parent burying their child.
Some years ago I conducted the funerals of two sons in one family. One child was a year old when he died and the other was a teenager. Those two days were dreadfully hard on me.
We may rage against this enemy called death, and rightfully so. It is especially appropriate when it robs us of a younger member of our family. As an older person myself, I know that my death will not be mourned in the same way as that of a child.
My children are all grown and happy in life. They do not need me any more. They have developed survival skills and now adequately care for themselves. We all realize that senior citizens are prone to dying.
When it comes to children most of us have an especially protective nature. This way of seeing children is very evident in the life of our Lord. Jesus was described in our text as loving and receiving the child tenderly.
In Mark 9:36 we are told that Jesus took the child into His arms. Our Lord is the type of man who is not hesitant to easily embrace little children. His strong arms held the child gently for all to see.
Then Jesus spoke of the angels assigned to the children and made it clear that these angels have access to the immediate presence of the Father concerning the little ones they guard.
Children are so important to the Father that He will instantly grant access to Himself by any angel who is charged with a child’s care.
Jesus also spoke of the fact that if we receive a little child in His name we receive Him. This speaks of the intimate fellowship of our Lord with little children. He is so much involved with them and close to them that receiving one of them is to welcome Him into your presence as well.
One last point Jesus makes about children and what they can teach us is the matter of their sincere and simple faith in Him.
If we are humble enough we can learn from children how to believe in Jesus. The faith of a child is pure and wholehearted. They do not have their minds full of doubts.
When we come to the time when a child leaves us for heaven we may feel the loss especially strong. However we know from how Jesus treated children here that He lovingly gathers them into His arms in heaven and blesses them and welcomes them to their eternal home.
The last and greatest chapter to be written is the one when Jesus receives all of His children to the home especially prepared for them. May all of my readers be included in that last and greatest chapter.