“He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matthew 18:2-3
Definition of Childlike:
• marked by innocence, trust, and ingenuousness.
• resembling, suggesting, or appropriate to a child
Are there things about Advent that gives you a sense of childlike feelings or emotions? I have loved Christmas most of my life. I love the tree decorating, shopping for the perfect gifts, wrapping presents, giving presents, seeing the beautiful lights, exchanging good tidings with friends and strangers, sharing meals with friends and family, watching the enchantment in the faces of children as they see Santa and the toy aisle in every store, holiday foods and drinks, to mention a few! I also look forward to singing Christmas songs, especially the ones at church describing Jesus and His birth, they transport me to my youth, an opportunity for me to revisit those precious memories of special individuals who helped shape my faith from a very young age. This past Sunday, my church presented our annual children’s Christmas program and it was a great success, topped out with Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, Angels and of course Jesus! The children wore homemade costumes and sang songs and had two separate storylines happening simultaneously, great producers and performance!!
One can experience Advent with the delight of childlike experiences without having children. Christmas whether secular or religious, is not about age but about heart.
Jesus spoke about childlike attributes while talking with His disciples in Matthew 18:1-5, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Jesus was instructing the disciples to have mature and responsible minds and the hearts like children. C.S.Lewis paraphrased Paul’s writing from 1 Corinthians 13:22 by saying this…
There are many ways to experience the childlike emotions of Christmas, the writer of the book I’m reading suggested the following:
• Do a “Jesse Tree,”. I had no idea what it was and if you already know, that’s awesome. Basically, it’s a bare branch hung with symbols of stories from the Old Testament, creating a family “tree” for Mary, Joseph, and the Christ Child — a Christmas prequel. The name comes from Isaiah 11:1, “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.” With doing a Jesse Tree each day of Advent read a passage from the Old Testament and hang a tiny/small ornament representing it, something like a globe for creation; a whale for Jonah; or a boat for Noah.
• Collect ornaments.
• Create traditions with friends or family or both
• Be a secret Santa to someone.
Questions for Reflection:
• What do you think Jesus means by “becoming like children? *Be trusting, open and honest.
• What childish activities do you enjoy at Advent season? If you don’t have any, do any of the suggestions listed above interest you? *I am interested in doing the “Jesse Tree.”
• C.S.Lewis also write this, “Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary. He told us to be not only ‘as harmless as doves’, but also ‘as wise as serpents’. He wants a child’s heart, but a grown-up’s head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim.” What are some ways to balance a “child’s heart” and a “grown up’s head?” *Be kind, treat others as you want to be treated, share, be fair. Do you think Lewis succeeds in. Alan Inc the two in the book, “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe?” Why or why not? *Short answer, YES…I love the writings of C.S.Lewis and the imagery that spins in my imagination!
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