A Kingdom of Children

“The kingdom is already granted to little children, not, I think because of the subjective qualities that we tend to appreciate in them, such as their cuteness, their smallness, or their playfulness. The kingdom is theirs, I suspect, because objectively they are vulnerable, weak, lowly, and helpless. Left to themselves, they would die. This “leastness,” I submit, is their title-deed to the highest place in the kingdom of God, the same God who once became an infant for us, who became “least” for us on the cross.” (John Chryssavgis. Soul Mending: The Art of Spiritual Direction. Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2000, p. 6.)

Jesus’s statement that unless we become like little children we won’t even enter the kingdom of heaven (let alone be the greatest there) doesn’t make much sense if child-like cuteness, playfulness or littleness were in focus. Instead, Chryssavgis suggests it is helplessness, vulnerability, weakness and humble state that makes children perfect candidates of grace in God’s eyes.

For Reflection:

  • How am I being inviting to childlikeness today? How might I be childlike in my living, my relating, my working? Not childish, but child-like.

(Repost from September 2010)

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