As I read Mark 9 and 10 this morning, I was struck by the two passages found in these chapters that tell us what Jesus thought of children, one quite harsh, the other more gentle. He said, “Whoever causes one of these little ones to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea” (9:42). And then in the next chapter, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them” (10:14).
The Northwest Leadership Institute hosted by Boise First United Methodist Church last Friday and Saturday was one of the best continuing education experiences I have ever had. Saturday morning one of the presenters, Leonard Sweet was talking about what Jesus thought of children. He said that Jesus was surely aware of how many children had to die in order for him to live (remember what Herod did when Jesus was born?). He said Jesus always brought his best to the least, children especially. He said that churches that get their marching orders from Jesus do the same, and that one way to tell how faithful a church is to Jesus is by how central to their identity is their children’s ministry.
I was sitting next to Jerry Cornilles at the time. Jerry had a lot to do with the founding of Kids Stuff, our preschool and early learning center. Because of Kids Stuff, our building is always full of children learning about Jesus. I nudged Jerry with my elbow and said, “You did good!”