top of page
July24Header.jpg

July 2024 

In the 1989 film Field of Dreams, Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner, is a struggling Iowa farmer who hears a voice say, “If you build it, they will come.” This mysterious calling prompts Ray to transform his cornfield into a baseball field, where past players miraculously appear. His journey leads him to kidnap the reclusive author, Terrance Mann, portrayed by James Earl Jones. As Ray and Terrance unravel the visions behind the field, the story peaks when Ray’s brother-in-law pressures him to sell the farm. In a moment of clarity, the once cynical Terrance delivers an inspiring speech, predicting that people will come, like innocent children yearning for the past. This empowers Ray to hold onto his dream. The movie ends with people arriving, and Terrance steps into the cornfield with a childlike laugh, filled with wonder, trust, and curiosity. Ray finds healing in reuniting with his father, ending with a heartfelt, “Hey, Dad? You wanna have a catch?” The characters reach a childlike hope often lost in adulthood.

What is it about this movie that resonates with adults? Is it the longing to recapture the innocence of childhood? The simple joy of a summer night playing catch with our dads, unaware of the adult worries around us? There is a genuineness that we often lose as we get older, and that is why Christ personified a joy and wonder as well as taught that it is the heart of a child that receives the Kingdom of God.

 

In three separate passages (Matthew 19:13-15, Mark 10:13-16, and Luke 18:15-17), we can see Jesus call out His disciples for not allowing children to come to Him. Jesus says in all three passages, 

 

“Allow the children to come to Me; do not forbid them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” 

 

As a continuation of our theme from last month, He Is Good, we’re going to pick up where we left off by examining the character of Jesus. This passage offers a glimpse of His true nature—joyful, loving, kind, and trusting, like that of a child. As we age, our perspective often becomes jaded by hurt and mistrust. For some of us, domestic, substance, or sexual abuse shattered our innocence early in childhood. For others, it was the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., or Selena Quintanilla-Perez. Or perhaps, as young children, we witnessed the fall of the World Trade Centers on live television on 9/11. Whatever the trauma, it can fill young minds and hearts with mistrust, and in that moment, childhood ends.

The childlikeness of Christ and what we need to have is not a sign of immaturity. No, that is far from it. Instead, it is something that we need to be like – to have qualities that point more to something a child would have. When Christ called out to the disciples to let the children come to Him, He revealed a glimpse of His character – welcoming, trusting, loving, and accepting. These are childlike qualities. In contrast, the disciples exhibited resistance, cynicism, impartiality, and refusal – traits often seen in adults. Jesus emphasized to His disciples that we must receive the kingdom of God like a child. It is the pure joy, unadulterated laughter, boundless energy, and unwavering trust that allow us to accept Him and His kingdom.

 

 This is what Jesus was getting at when He taught about the children coming to Him. They trusted Him. They held nothing back to question if He was real because to them, He was. To deny that trust and to rebuke that love is to deny the kingdom of God. Here’s the challenge for this month. We, as the body of Christ here at TRM, want to personify that love and trust that Jesus teaches about children. We cannot and will not get an ounce of anything done if we sit back and remain cynical towards the troubles in front of us. Sure, we know that there is hurt in our community, but how would a child approach it? With unbiased favor and abounding compassion. 

 

Let’s look at it this way. Think back to your entire upbringing and time in school. Remember the good and the bad – all of it. The great opportunities and the missed ones, the valiant wins and the painful losses. Many of us would not want to relive those years, even if someone paid us, because we remember the struggles and fears that came with them. Now, let’s flip it and consider how excited a five-year-old is to go to school for the first time. It’s uncharted territory, and they can’t wait for school to start. They keep asking, “When is school starting?”, “Do we know who my teacher is yet?”, 

“What will I wear on my first day of school?”, “Will everyone be my friend?” This excitement is so pure because they have no idea what lies ahead. While we as adults may not know exactly either, we have a fairly good idea. There will be plenty of joy, but along with the joy, there will be heartache.

 

Jesus stressed it to His disciples because it was important for them to grasp the idea that for us to enter His kingdom, His field, or His ministry, we needed to be in tune with our inner child. As the Son of God, there is no doubt that He moved with a childlike joy, love, and trust. Take this for instance, what did He do when anyone asked Him a question? He asked a question right back! What kind of person asks question after question? A child! Do we think that Jesus was a kid at heart? Absolutely! He lived a life that drew crowds to Him because He was always in awe of everything around Him. He celebrated life to its fullest just like a child would. So, there’s the challenge for us this month. Let’s all tap into that childlike outlook on life. Trust things more. Ask for a game of catch. Run to the Lord with the heart of a child. †

bottom of page