I have had time to process all the things I was involved in last weekend at the Celebration event for 8 to 11 year olds:-
The kids I saw:
*took God at his word; if he's got something for them, they want it
*wanted to be prayed for as much as possible
*received from God easily and without hangups
*were impatient for the things of God
* loved to worship in abandon. Sure, they could be distracted, but switched from fiddling with their lanyards to high praise in about 2 nanoseconds
* revelled in the praise, kind words and acceptance from adults like us who were their small group leaders. Time and time again in my education job I saw kids destined for "drop out-dom" flourishing under kind words and a little bit of time.
Jesus spoke the truth indeed when he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I finish with this quote from theologian Judith Gundry-Volf who is in no doubt that children have an inherent knowledge of the Father:
“Children are not mere ignoramuses in terms of spiritual insight in the Gospel tradition. They know Jesus’ true identity. The praise Him as the Son of David (Matthew 21:14-16). They have this knowledge from God and not from themselves and because they do, they are living manifestos to the source of all true knowledge about Christ as from God”.
Father, thank you for the privilege of seeing this in my job!