“Let the children come to me! Don’t stop them!…. then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.”
As I read this passage this morning, I am placing myself in this scene. (Something I like to do often as I read the gospels. It has really brought me to a more intimate place with Jesus, as we discuss what is happening and what he wants me to learn or tell me about the story.) I love that parents are bringing their kids to Jesus, just to be in his presence, and if possible, to have him “touch them and bless them.” They wanted their kids to have an unforgettable encounter with Jesus.
I’d do that. I’d be one of the parents that would make sure that Jesus touched my kids. To bless them. Pray for them. Heal them. Speak prophetically over them. Love on them. And, even as a grandparent, I would have gladly taken my grandkids to Jesus, just in case their parents weren’t able to make it that day. I’d make my way, no matter how far it was, to bring them to him. I’d probably take pictures too. (Well, I probably wouldn’t since I always forget to take pictures now at important moments!)
One thing I heard from Jesus this morning as I sat in this scene, is how much he really loves kids. And that he wanted to prioritize them, so that they knew they were not only important to him, but that they could also receive from him. Kids hear from God. They are more than open to learning from him, to sit at his feet, (or in his lap!) and listen to him. They want to be brought to him to be touched and blessed by him. These encounters are life changing.
And so, I am committed to bringing Griffin (9), Saylor (4), Bostyn (9), Ezekiel (3) and Ezra (1), my grandchildren, to Jesus. I’m not always good at it, or as consistent as I’d like, but I want to be creative to make space for Jesus to touch and bless them. Because he really wants to.
One way my husband and I are going to do that this Christmas, is something we’ve come up with for their Christmas gift. Our grandkids have so many toys that we decided to create an “Adventure with Ima and Papa” instead of typical gifts. (Although I might need to make it look like a present to have them open something!) When they open it, we will make a date and give them some hints to their day with Ima and Papa, full of telling stories about Jesus, eating good food and making something together. I can’t wait. I think it might turn into a tradition, but we’ll have to see how it goes! And my hope and prayer is that they encounter Jesus, with his embrace of love. But if you see them within the next couple weeks, don’t mention it. It’s a surprise!
Is there something you can do with your kids or grandkids this Christmas, to bring them to Jesus, to create space for an encounter with him? One thing I know, is that he will show up, to “touch and bless them.”
Maybe you already do this. I’d love to hear about it.
(Oh, and this hilarious little guy pictured here is my youngest grandson, Ezra. He brings me LOTS of joy!)