I have to speak at church this week. We are in the middle of a series about the Kingdom of God and I drew the topic: You must become like a little child. When I’ve heard sermons on these texts, they usually talked about how we should imitate certain things about children…you know stuff like the wonder of a child, the carefree nature, even their ability to bounce back from a fall or difficult situations…anyway.
I’m learning how that is not at all what Jesus was talking about in the texts that deal with his using children as examples of the kingdom – in fact they are pretty hard on the folks who interpret the verses about the Kingdom of God and children that way. Pretty much every NT scholar I read on these verses agrees that Jesus was using the child as an example of humility – the powerless. At the most, he could have been saying that they do not chase after power.
I’ve been reading this old book by Donald Kraybill, who is a sociologist and expert on the Anabaptists. The Upside-Down Kingdom is the name of the book and it is a really good read. It’s got me thinking about how power structures are set up in our society – the ways in which we view other people, how power hungry our world is. I’m just convinced that the Kingdom of God is supposed to run counter to that. I’m not really sure what that means, but it’s really got me thinking right now.