July 12, 2016

Summer Sabbath Reflections

This week, we're looking back at the Abiding reflection from week 2 of Summer Sabbath 2013.

Click here to view it on the website

Vineyard Summer Sabbath Devotional #2 “As Children”

By Linda Foster
Here are the verses from Sunday’s service: Luke 18:15-17
15 People were bringing even tiny babies to Jesus for him to touch them. When the disciples saw this, they forbade them sternly.16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and don’t stop them, God’s kingdom belongs to such as these. 17 I’m telling you the truth: anyone who doesn’t receive God’s kingdom like a little child will never enter it.”
So my question as always is this: 
What is Jesus saying to me through this verse?
And how, by His grace, am I going to respond?
 What I hear Jesus saying to me: Looking at this verse the part that jumps out to me is ‘tiny babies’. Jesus placed VALUE on babies. He gathered little children, and they were drawn to Him.
Young children, babies, can’t do anything, they can’t serve or earn income or help. They can’t converse or be of much ‘use’. They understand so little in the way we value understanding. Their very care is inconvenient and can take us away from that which we deem has real value for our time.
Babies know how to just be. They don’t have much choice. Babies have no agenda. But when you hold one or look into their eyes, you can see what Jesus sees, pure and innocent trust. A trust that knows He is enough. His love and grace are enough. And I want to live every minute knowing that His grace is enough.
There has been so much discussed and written about verse 17, dissecting it and trying to decode all its meaning, hidden and plain. How do we get into God’s Kingdom? What is the secret of being like a little child? What is the hidden code in what Jesus says here? What is the formula, tell me and I will fit it.
But really, and more simply, the shocking and overlooked fact is that Jesus here in this passage and routinely throughout His life placed His time, His love and His value on things and people we quickly overlook because we don’t SEE what they have that is of worth.
Those who are helpless, the dirty, the mentally ill, the inconvenient and annoying, the less-than, the sick, those whose pain makes us want to turn away. He saw beauty. He saw worth. Because He saw with love and grace.
So what is my response to what Jesus is saying to me here? My heart says, my heart yells, ‘I want to see what Jesus sees. I want to value what Jesus values.’ In the faces and the places I may rush past, in the situations and people I don’t usually even slow down for. In my ordinary relationships and things of the day to day. I want eyes to see and ears to hear like He does. I want to live without holding back and without fear. I want to see the little child in every face and I want to be the little child when I look into His. Because really, really, really, His grace IS enough. In every life, in every fear, in every disappointment, in every regret, in every situation, His grace and love are enough. I can’t be thankful enough for this. And life radically changes when we can deeply grasp this.
My prayer this week is two fold, to have the eyes to see and ears to hear my everyday life as Jesus does. And also to pray that I could deeply know that His grace and love are enough, always and in every situation enough. Amen.


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