Anyone who welcomes a little child like this

01 November 2021 | Reflections | Anthony Luxton

Last Sunday was a really special day. It was a privilege to come alongside Marc and Cara as they made a public declaration, in baptism, of their commitment to follow Jesus as a family. As we welcomed them into the church family we also dedicated baby Orlagh to God asking for His blessing upon her life.

This was my first baby dedication which I hope will remain firmly imprinted in my memory. As I remember back to laying my hand on Orlagh’s head it reminds me of the significance of children in the life of the church.

Far from adopting the mantra ‘children should be seen and not heard’ Jesus suggests that children should be welcomed with open arms within the church:

Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.” (Mark 9:36-37)

Watching children grow is a blessing that we should treasure. We should not underestimate what impact we might have on the lives of those going through their formative years. God wants to share in our lives together, he is invested in this from our very conception as is expressed so well in the Psalms:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (Psalm 139:13-16)

So much time is spent debating in what way God ordained our lives that it can distract us from the amazing truth that God wants to play an active part in our lives. The fact God knows us so well, including our life possibilities, is because he loves us so deeply that he is interested in sharing in every aspect of our lives. As a parent I get this, I so often wish I had more hours to spend with my children. God however, has placed ‘eternity in the human heart’, he literally has all the time in the world to be a part of our world (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

As I laid my hands on Orlagh’s head I was struck deep down as she stared back at me. This is a person who God loves deeply and we are privileged to share her life with her.

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