The Little Children and Jesus
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
The film ‘the adjustment Bureau’ has recently been voted one of the best thrillers around. In it, Matt Damon falls in love with a dancer but mysterious men in hats spend their time keeping them apart. This turns out to be the work for a clandestine organisation called Fate and the hats open secret doors from one part of the world to the other.
Now, in some ways, this movie is about how much free will we do actually have. Yet on the other, it fascinates with this idea of a covert places just within touching range but we just can’t get into. Unless you have hat that is!
Well, Jesus audiences were equally enthralled with his talks about something similar. For the prophets had referred to a paradise in the future or somewhere else. But Christ said that this paradise, that he called the Kingdom, was already here. It was just hidden. His listeners felt if they could only turn around quick enough they would see it. Or if the could just step in to the wings of the world’ stage, it would be there. It was heaven just beyond the looking glass.
Well, we too may be equally attracted to this magically present but invisible Kingdom an inch beyond our finger tips. But how do I get in there? Where the key to its secret door?
Well, today we are given the answer fore-square. We are told that paradise can be entered if we approach it like a child. Put directly, being like a kid is the same as wearing a hat in the Adjustment Bureau.
Ah, you say that is fantasy.
So, let and try and give you my explanation. And we start with a prank on the BBC’s old driving programme – Top Gear. Because, it Clarkson et al wanted to find out that if your car went fast enough, a speed camera would not see it. After various trials, they found that if you travel at over 120 miles an hour, the camera doesn’t flash. Simply, that roadside eye doesn’t understand a vehicle travelling that fast.
When we grow up, we get a bit like that camera. For we become so sophisticated, jaded even cynical we just don’t understand the Kingdom and therefore we can no longer see it.
Yet if we have the eyes and attitude of youth, we perceive afresh. We see what is possible. We see unfiltered reality. We can enter into the world of hope born from unblinkered faith.
Today, Christ invites us to turn the clock back, be young again and enter the Kingdom of God. He asks us to throw off the myopia of our past and open up the brave new world. He demands that we look with genuine belief for the magical key that lies just at our feet.
Then finding it, may we turn the lock and push back the portal to a far better place. All we need do is sprightly enter our fate whether we wearing a hat or not.