1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I once heard Brother George Raley, who spent many years serving as College Ministry Director at various schools/churches around Arkansas say that working with college students was easy. You simply find the things that will entertain a 3-5 year old and it will work for a 17-24 year old as well. Go ahead and laugh, but think about it! Most of the Collegiate Ministry Praise and Worship Services start off with simple praise choruses…that involve hand motions: “Father Abraham”; “It’s Bubbling”, “Lord, I lift your Name on High” and my personal favorite “I’ve got a river of Life”
Brother Raley’s philosophy was nailed in concrete tonight at Community College Singers’ Christmas Party. We started the evening performing in front of nearly 800 parents, friends and community leaders, and then all gathered in the home of our director. After a potluck meal, it was time to get to the presents…and Dirty Santa. If you’ve never played Dirty Santa, allow me to explain: everyone who wants to participate brings a gift. They’re put under the tree and everyone then draws a number. The person with number 1 unwraps a gift. Number 2 can either get a gift from under the tree or they can take Number 1’s gift…at which time Number 1 must get another gift from under the tree. It gets pretty intense with everyone laughing, hiding gifts under their coats, begging to keep the gift they have and taking what belongs to someone else. Our gifts were to be under $5 and something funny.
Some of the things we unwrapped were a case of “Cup-a-Noodles”, a dancing snowman, a $5 bill wrapped inside a roll of toilet paper, the ugliest pair of Stevie Wonder Sunglasses that any of us had ever seen and a box of Cocoa Puffs. Then there were the gifts that everyone was fighting over: A beautiful Green Silk stocking that contained a puzzle, trivia cards, a night light and a paddle ball…all with the “High School Musical” cast on them; A battery operated Darth Vadar Light Saber; and a bag that contained Fake Hillbilly Buck Teeth; a set of Jacks, a fuzzy Fedora hat, Silly Putty and a 6-pack of bubbles. Rainey held on to her stocking and threatened bodily harm to anyone who tried to take her night light, because she was terrified of the dark ; Nichole immediately put the teeth in her mouth, in the hopes that no would want them after that. (someone else offered to boil water and sanitize them) and Jessie sat in her chair waving the light saber in the air and humming the Star Wars theme and the Imperial March.
I sat in the corner and laughed at these grown people acting like children. I only lost my composure when Dillon tried to take away my Dress-up high heeled shoes, fuzzy purse, glitter eye shadow and lip gloss and my rhinestone clip on earrings.
The bible tells us that God loves those that humble themselves as a little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Perhaps this is because a child normally has complete trust, with no questions asked. They don’t try to over analyze everything. It is when we become adults that we tend to question even the simplest of commandments.
This Christmas season, you’ll probably hear the story of Christ’s birth over and over again: In sermons, carols, Christmas Cards, etc… Take some time and re-read the story in Luke Chapter 2. Don’t look at mechanics, or impossibilities, or political correctness. Pray for God to open your heart and allow you to see the story through the wondrous eyes of a child. Then share that joy with those around you.