Walking on the beach, there is always something different to look at, from one week to the next. Sometimes there are a slew of jellyfish washed up for some reason.
We had a walk like that recently and the idea came to me as I pondered the stranded jelly, ‘what do they think about?’
It is the kind of thought a child would have, so I thought it was worth pursuing. Fortunately, I did not prod it, as I might have done as a young boy, I simply stared at it in wonder.
Jesus talks about us coming to the Kingdom of God as a child, Mark 10:13-15, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
Working now in a community of elderly people, this direction could not be more relevant.
Consider the saying, ‘It is hard to teach an old dog new tricks’. The older we become the harder it is for us to accept change, especially in our world or religious views.
People who have sat in a Baptist church for 80 years have a hard time thinking there may be a different expression of Christianity which is good and right; and that same thought could be switched to any other denomination. Perhaps, ‘thinking like a child’ would prevent our tendency to ownership of a denomination, rather than seeking an active personal relationship with God. Through a parent/child intimacy and trust.
As we grow older we will become more dependent on others and in that sense more child like physically. But how do we get our thinking, our trust, to become more child like, more innocent?
God is not asking for us to become stupid and not think about our beliefs, rather to open doors of a spiritual life which rational thinking closed years ago. Many Cessationist preacher declared the ends of the works of the Holy Spirit with the completion of Holy Scripture. Many sermon denounced seeking the miraculous or the outlined the danger of the supernatural. That theology has left an emptiness in many people’s life with God and kept many others from being interested to begin with.
Many of the elderly I minister with, have had no tangible experience of the presence of the Holy Spirit, even though they have been attending church for 80 or 90 plus years. I think how sad that is. I think again how boring that is. One thing I know is children do not enjoy being sad or bored; so something has gone wrong in the way ‘grown ups’ do ‘Church’ or the Holy Spirit has been received and known.
My prayer is to be ‘child like’ enough myself, that others can know, there are still spiritual doors waiting for them to explore through an intimate innocent trust that the work of the Holy Spirit is kind, caring, healing, loving and very much active today. I hope that is possible before some of us are too old to be children of Jesus; even for the first time or to wonder what jelly fish think.
Christine has had a busy month, preparing for teaching her next online Icon class and finishing up a commission. Her work was recently written about in two glowing articles, here are the links: https://www.einpresswire.com/article/552331066/christine-hales-creates-religious-icons-for-a-young-generation-of-christians
Please pray with us for an end to the corona virus pandemic, for healing and protection for all, and for world peace.
We love you and pray for you each day,
Love and prayers,
Michael and Christine