Matthew 18:5 – And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. (KJV)
Luke 9:47-48 – And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, and said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me; for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great. (KJV)
John 1:11 – He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (KJV)
Recently, during our morning walk and talk, a friend told me that her little four-year-old grandson, who used to love being in church before going on to Sunday School, had been different the past two Sundays.
In their church, prior to the service, there is much hymn singing, then welcoming handshakes for the people to the front, back, and either side of each other. On previous Sundays, her grandson had been enthusiastic, but she noticed the enthusiasm was no longer there.
She wasn't sure if it was boredom, and she was going to just chalk it up to a stage he was going through. But then she thought better of it and asked him if something was wrong.
The dear little soul said, "Only one person shook my hand."
She had been holding his younger sister and in the process of the glad-handing, hadn't noticed that her grandson had been overlooked — or passed over. Probably because it is natural to be looking at folks at eye level, her grandson was inadvertently missed.
There are numerous verses in Scripture referring to little children and how they are to be treated and received. In Jesus' own words, those who receive a little child receive Him also. Would it not be, then, that those who overlook a little child also overlook our Lord?
No one would have intentionally ignored her grandson or thought him too young to matter, but so often, people are missed or overlooked in many ways, for a plethora of reasons. How they are treated, especially from an early age, sets a strong and, depending on circumstances, possibly a wrong impression.
Prayer: Help us to look around us, Lord, and really see those who are in our midst, not just at church or prayer services or within the confines of Your holy spaces, but everywhere. May we especially acknowledge those who may not meet us at eye level: small children, youth, or those in wheelchairs. In meeting them, we meet You also. In Your name, we pray. Amen.