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childLast night we watched the movie Heaven Is For Real. I would recommend it to anyone. First and foremost I was taken by the beautiful, bright, open and clear face and personality of the four-year old who did not die but visited heaven. Young children are so often like that – honest and sincere, simple and yet profound. The movie, based on the true life experience of a real child and his family is an exploration of mystery and our ability and willingness to believe what we do not understand. It reminds me of the scriptural dictum, “And a little child shall lead them.” The gospel this morning (MT 18:1-5) is similar. Jesus is talking about what it takes to get to heaven and he is pretty direct about it.

Unless you turn and become like little children you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

Jesus wasn’t asking us to give up all that we have learned in our lives but rather to “turn around” and abandon our ego needs for recognition and approval as well as the need to prevaricate and obfuscate (words that rarely fit in the vocabulary or the action of a small child) in order to impress or be accepted. Jesus is asking us to go deeper – much deeper – than the level on which we ordinarily function in order to live in the place of absolute truth and willingness to love without fear or worry about what will happen to us if we do come to live in that place. This is what children do so it’s a good idea to find those wise little ones and spend some time listening to them and seeking their wisdom before they forget…