Simple and Pure Childhood

But Jesus said, Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14 ESV)

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When I was a child, the simple and pure innocence of my life was ever sustaining.  My working-poor divorced mother who tried her very best to provide, yet this child never sought after material things….for I was simply content with her huge maternal love …her undying commitment to family and of the pure non-abandoning of her heart.   I was content with the simple…. the painless uncomplicated…..yet there were the Christmas mornings where toys covered the cold and dark floor…the yearly birthday cakes from Jean’s Professional Bakery….the once a year shopping for school clothes… the very seldom fast food …and the simple and pure… yet only very occasional …black and white photo from within the small photo booth at our neighborhood Dixie Square mall…

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When I was a young child, I played simply with my friends…no worries or concerns ever consumed me while they were by my side at our large childhood playground. Just loud laughter and never-ending joy found in the simple and pure things of life….like jumping and splashing in mud puddles leftover by a quick moving spring storm…building a fortress out of old discarded cardboard boxes…. making angels in a fresh and untouched layer of snow…..playing hopscotch and jumping rope… and running through the very cold but refreshing water of a neighbor’s sprinkler on a sweltering summer afternoon while trying to catch the watered- colored rainbows left behind with our hands…

When I was a young child, I simply and unequivocally loved Jesus.  I was a timid, easily-frightened, and insecure child deep inside and He was this child’s Protector…keeping me always safe…ever secure… and very far from harm. I would lay awake in bed many lonely and abandoned nights telling Him all my fears….all my dreams…and all my hopes…. no fancy words involved….no rhyme or reason contained within this child’s prayers ….just simple and purely honest words to share with the One…the only One… the only One who really matters… from deep within this child’s heart.   I didn’t know any fancy biblical terms to use…. no complex theological issues to question or ponder……nor could I even begin to conceptualize or accurately define the meaning of “sin” or think of its devastating consequences and destruction yet waiting to come ….only to mislead….only to blind…only to devour… and to destroy…

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When I was a young child, I so greatly loved His church.  I simply knew I was visiting my Heavenly Father’s home…tucked safe and secure… ….in my protected sanctuary.  Within my Father’s home there was safety …where simple love and pure unity resides… and our voices of worship reached to the highest heavens and the Heavenly Hosts were even able to hear and rejoice… and join in on our praises and songs of worship… A local community of sacred fellowship where strength and love abounds and leaps into the fallen and inherently sinful of humanity’s hearts….  but also a glimmer of hope to those who were struggling and searching in silence…a place of simple comfort ….. of pure forgiveness……and of a great hope and joy yet to come…..

“Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them.”  (Eccl 12:1 ESV)

Do you remember the never-ending days of your simple and pure childhood?

Do you remember your child-like faith?

 

The simple and pure childhood days that seemed to last forever… before worries and concerns set in, and slowly buried deeply within your ever- hardening heart… and complicating the simple and pure comforts in your life….and in your dreams…and in your hopes… Is that where you found yourself slowly beginning to take your eyes off of Jesus?

                  …taking your eyes off of the One who really matters…

 

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New Creation

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (II Cor 5:17 ESV)

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Finally… the month of May….I rejoice at your anticipated arrival each and every year…and ….oh the glorious wonders and mysteries you bring…

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The wonders and mysteries of May are invigorating and refreshing after the silent dead of a long and dark winter.  Like the gentleness of calming rains or the sound of a distant thunder slowly approaching.  Like the still cool of the night and the growing warmth of each new day. Like the new outbursts of life seen among the various specimens of trees and of the many bushes…among the grounds and of the fields… and among the open valleys and newly shaded forests…

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Like the gentle massage of warming rain-kissed breezes so soothing to the soul… or the new blossoms upon the apple trees promising a plentiful harvest of succulent fruit…and the birds speaking in fury and working earnestly to quickly build their summer homes to prepare for their next generation to come…

Like the sun as it slowly ascends higher and higher in the vast open space … lengthening the days…and shortening the nights…and the sun-drenched moistened grounds giving way to even the smallest buds of new creation…and the furious beginning of honey bees desiring their long awaited first drink of sweetened nectar… and the newly-created sand piles leftover by the tiniest of our laborious creatures indicating their work has now begun…

Like the re-growing abundance of nourishing vegetation….and of plants…and of seeds… always sustaining life… even for the wildest of beast…Like the survival of the fittest but also abundantly given to those who are weak… and of the wondrous miracle of a doe wandering alone seeking the cool of a darkly shaded forest….to prepare for the birth of her fawn…

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse.”  (Romans 1:20 ESV)

This yearly display, and oh so perfect, rebirth of Creation is not by chance or by circumstance.  It is His glorious display….Christ’s glorious display of the infinite wonders and mysteries of His creation… but also to remind us of our own gift of rebirth…only achieved through Him… Where the old passes away and the new arrives…

 Jesus…You are my God!

 Have you surrendered to His wondrous mystery?

“The Gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make a brand-new creation.  Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within…”

—-Brennan Manning—