15th November 2013

The Blessing of the Children 

Let me tell you now, unless you can receive the kingdom of God like one of these little kiddies, you’ll never enter the kingdom’. He then took the children in ‘is chalks (Chalk farms = arms), placed ‘is Germans (German bands = hands) on each of them, and blessed them..”
Matthew 10:15-16 (The Bible in Cockney by Mike Coles, published in 2001 by the Bible Reading Fellowship, Oxford)

In Jesus every child is blessed. That’s the Biblical message.

Jesus had been talking to his disciples about inclusion, and he brought one of the children who were playing around them into the middle of the group. Let the child teach you, he said. Just as children readily accept one another, so we should receive each other into the Kingdom of God.

The children, as far as we know, did not come kicking and screaming and playing computer games. But what if they had? What if the disciples chased them away because the children were misbehaving? Would it have altered the point Jesus was making? No, it would not have. God’s blessing is for everyone. The Kingdom is for all people, and we should accept everyone just as Jesus has accepted us. Christ said, “Whoever in My name and for My sake accepts and receives and welcomes one such child also accepts and receives and welcomes Me; and whoever so receives Me receives not only Me but Him Who sent Me” (Mark 9:37, Amplified Bible). Jesus receives and welcomes everyone, no matter what the situation may be.

Jesus took the children up into his arms and blessed them. He was demonstrating inclusion and acceptance. The word “bless” is connected to the ideas of happiness and joy. He entered into the joy of the children. Did he joke with them and play with them as well as pray over them? I think so. Did he smile or was he stern? He smiled. The parents had not prepared the children. They were not all clean and spruced up in special clothes. Maybe some were dirty with runny noses. Yet Jesus picked them up and blessed them.

Our church has a special ceremony in which we follow Christ’s example in blessing the children. In it our ministers give a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s grace towards the child or children involved. They ask for God’s guidance on the parents and family, and also pray that God will continues to surround the child/children with grace in the future. If you would like to have your son or daughter blessed in our church or in your home, why not contact us?

Father, thank you for the gift of children, and help us to receive everyone into you kingdom just as Christ received the little children. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  This weekend James is participating in a Blessing of the Children ceremony in our Northampton church.  You are welcome to attend any of our Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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