“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
~ Matthew 19:14
Hi James and Ellen,
If you have a choice as kids to have a teacher who gives hugs of appreciation or words of encouragement or have another teacher who gives awards for good conduct in school or for doing well in your classes, which teacher would you choose? If you have the chance to sit on Jesus’ lap, would you rather have Jesus touch the top of your heads to bless you – as you sense that you are kids who are really important to Him, or would you rather have Jesus give you a toy before He lets the next kid sit on His lap? Do you think that guys and gals who are older than your dad and ma think that you are special? Do you think that Jesus thought that kids are special? Max Lucado wrote a short story that he called “You Are Special”. Max Lucado’s short story – “You Are Special”, was made into a short animated film. Watching the “You Are Special” animated film has been over the past five summers one of the first activities that OC International interns have had to do during OC International’s five week internship – during which your grandmaa and grandpaa were mentors. The animated film is about a wood kid who wanted stars but who would invariably get dots. Any wood guy, gal or kid in Max Lucado’s short book – “You Are Special”, who did something that was seen as good or who thought that he or she was really important was to get a gold star while any wood guy, gal or kid who did something that made him or her look like a buffoon or who felt like a fool was to get a gray dot. Would you rather get gold stars or gray dots? Do you think that you deserve gold stars or do you think that you should be given gray dots? Do you think that Jesus would be impressed if He came to your school and found you with lots of gold stars stuck to your head, arms, back and . . . or do you think that Jesus would be disappointed if He came to your school and found you with lots of gray dots stuck to your head, arms, back and . . .
Matthew very possibly was there when Jesus had an encounter with kids. Matthew – in Matthew 19, scribed what Jesus did when some little kids were brought to Him for Him to lay His hands on them to bless them. Matthew says that Jesus’ disciples – and Matthew was one of them, got on the guys and gals who had brought their little kids to Jesus for Jesus to bless them for wasting Jesus’ time. Do you think that Jesus was having His time being wasted when He spent time with some little kids? Verse 14 says, “Jesus said, “‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”’ Jesus told the guys who He ‘randomly’ chose to be His disciples that little kids have just as much right to be Christ-followers as they did. In Max Lucado’s short book – “You Are Special”, a young gal had somehow come to personally know the Master Carver Who had carved her. Lucy – the young gal, encouraged Punchinello – a young guy who could never get a single gold star no matter how hard he tried, to get to know the Master Carver. Because he always got gray dots, Punchinello finally one day got the nerve to go to where the Master Carver – Eli, lived and . . . Punchinello found out from the Master Carver the reason why gold stars and gray dots did not stick to Lucy. Do gold stars and gray dots stick to you? The guy who had been given the responsibility of overseeing OC International’s annual internships would give each intern a cut out gold star and a cut out gray dot on which they were to write something on the gold star and on the gray dot when they finished watching the video. Stan would then have each intern destroy his gold star and gray dot because . . .
Your grandmaa and grandpaa think that kids are one of the most unreached ‘people groups’ on planet Earth. When your grandmaa and grandpaa first arrived in Bolivia with your dad and Aunt Lynn and after your grandmaa and grandpaa had moved into their first house, your grandpaa would about once a month show an evangelistic film. Your grandpaa would drape a white sheet over the opened gate area of the driveway of the house where he, your grandmaa, dad and Aunt Lynn were living. Your grandpaa would set up a borrowed projector at the back of the house’s driveway and begin to show the film. Because the film could be watched on both sides of the white sheet, guys, gals and kids who lived in the houses near the house where your grandpaa, grandmaa, dad and Aunt Lynn were living would come out of their houses – some carrying chairs, and watch the film. When the film ended, your grandpaa – without saying anything to any of the guys, gals and kids who had watched the film, would take down the white sheet. Having a weekly kids club type activity was one of the ministries that your grandmaa and grandpaa were thinking that they might do when they moved into their first house. Your grandpaa wanted his neighbors to get to know him and your grandmaa before they started to invite kids over for a kids club type happening. When your grandmaa was a young gal, your grandmaa and her ma would help each summer with Vacation Bible School that their church – which was the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware, had each year. When your grandmaa lived in Aberdeen, South Dakota, your grandmaa became involved with Child Evangelism Fellowship. A gal who was also involved with Child Evangelism Fellowship in Aberdeen – who your grandmaa got to know quite well, now lives in Delaware. Several years after your grandpaa wrote this missive, your grandmaa and grandpaa went to a mission conference at a Hideaway, Texas church that financially supports them. Max Lucado was at this church during the mission conference. Your grandmaa and grandpaa after the morning church service went for lunch with several couples from Hideaway Church and with Max Lucado and his wife. Your grandmaa and grandpaa have a photo taken of them with Max Lucado. Your grandmaa and grandpaa really enjoyed chatting with Max Lucado.
Matthew 19 (730)