The Child in the Midst

And he came to Capernaum: and, being in the house, he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them; and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me; and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.
— Mark 9:33-37

 

Therefore, with angels and with archangels, with the spirits of the just made perfect, with the little children of the kingdom, yea, with the Lord himself, and for all them that know him not, we praise and magnify and laud his name in itself, saying Our Father.  We do not draw back for that we are unworthy, nor even for that we are hard-hearted and care not for the good. For it is his childlikeness that makes him our God and Father. The perfection of his relation to us swallows up all our imperfections, all our defects, all our evils; for our childhood is born of his fatherhood. That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and his desires, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to him, “Thou are my refuge, because thou art my home.” 

Commentary

by Jolyn Canty

 

George MacDonald says that our childhood is born of His [God’s] fatherhood.  Abba, another word for Father, is an Aramaic word which literally means, “daddy” or “Da’da.”  “Daddy” is the delighted, trusting word a toddler speaks when he is seeking and finding his father’s arms.  Is there a sweeter name that so perfectly expresses the intimate union we as Christians experience with God than the name Abba, Daddy?  I vividly remember my pastor’s daughter share a sweet story of when she walked into her father’s study and overheard him say, “Daddy, I need your help.”  Filled with joy she immediately yelled, “Grandpa!  Grandpa’s here?”  He smiled and explained to her that he had been praying and that he called God “Daddy” because he is also his loving father.  We must learn to be childlike again, with simplicity of heart, singleness of soul, and implicit trustfulness in our “Daddy.”  This is vital to eternal life:

Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
— Matthew 18:3 NASB