Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nursery Priests

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
(Mark 10:13-16 ESV)

This last Sunday my family and I had the privilege of serving in the nursery and I remember thinking of this text as we were driving there. As we held and cared for these little ones we had the greater privilege of continuing the ministry of Jesus of physically touching and blessing them.

The phrase “nursery priests” came to mind – representatives of God touching and blessing in his name; this ministry continues whether the little ones are crying and upset or giggling with laughter. Diaper changes (which my wife does, not me!), playing with toys, reading books, providing yummy Cheerio snacks – all these are priestly ministrations done in Jesus’ name. He continues to bless the children, and it is a joy to participate in it.

This old priest, weighed down with sorrows, watches these little ones and learns to be little again, to be simple and playful again. For that window of time, reality is again something to be joyfully explored rather than retreated from. Further, my compulsion to avoid risk and protect myself goes by the wayside as I interact with Kingdom specialists who can’t even walk yet.

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