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The Wonder and Worth of a Child
By Kinsey Thurlow on February 1st, 2012

They have high, sometimes squeaky, voices. They ask bizarre and thoughtful questions like, “Do bugs sweat?” They like to dress up like super heroes and princesses. They are fascinated with things that spin, fly, or crawl.

They are children, and to these unique and precious little people, Jesus has told us the Kingdom belongs. These who are made weak and dependent. Who are tender and always learning. Who have faith built into them, eager to believe the outstanding.

And as one of these, Jesus came forth into the world, a light shining in the darkness. In humility He took the form of a helpless infant, and grew up a simple child in the small town of Nazareth. In fact, a considerable portion of God’s short 33 years on earth were spent as a child. Yes, to demonstrate the humble heart of God, but also to declare the wonder and value of a child.

Jesus nursed dependent at His mother’s breast, endured the fumbling process of learning to crawl and walk, sat through monotonous reading and writing lessons, and experienced the transformations of the teenage years. As a tender shoot, He grew up before us.

From our Lord’s very entrance into the world, He was declaring the abounding worth of a child, becoming one Himself. And this declaration He continued to make into His adult years. During His three years of ministry, He one day gave the highly-anticipated answer to the mysterious question of who would be the greatest in heaven. Jesus demonstrated the answer by calling a child to Himself and setting him before the listening crowd. “Truly I say to you,” Jesus declares, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.” What an unexpected answer.

Oh the value of a child. And we have missed it. We have missed it for centuries. Recall that even in Jesus’ day, His own disciples rebuked those who were bringing children to Him. Jesus, in turn, rebuked His disciples for their error because they did not recognize and acknowledge the value God has placed on these little ones. God in flesh then bent low, took the children in His arms and blessed them.

From then until now, the precious worth of a child remains largely unnoticed. Today in America, approximately 24% of all babies in the womb are killed before birth. About a half a million children are living in foster care, having endured hunger, neglect, rejection, and abuse. Currently church congregations in this nation outnumber children available and waiting for adoption by a 3 to 1 ratio. We have overlooked them, but the Lord’s eye is on them. He is bringing a change, and we are a part of the change; for these statistics will be altered as hearts turn to the children.

God, declare to us again the value of a child. Release the promise spoken through Your prophet Malachi and restore the hearts of fathers to the children and the hearts of children to fathers (Malachi 4:5-6).

 

Kinsey Thurlow

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February 1st, 2012
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