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Dear COA Family,

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).

This verse is very apt as we rejoice and celebrate with our little children from our Sunday School, Ascension Kindergarten and Little Seeds Preschool at our Little Gems Camp this week.

Yet what does Jesus mean when he says that the kingdom of heaven belongs to little children? Is he being discriminating when it comes to age?

Of course not. The kingdom of heaven will consist of all kinds of people, regardless of age, race or gender. Revelation 7:9 tells us of a future “great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb”. The only criterion is that they are all clothed with white robes – which is the righteousness of Christ.

I believe that when Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven belongs to little children, he is telling us two things.

Firstly, we must all be like little children when it comes to relating to our heavenly Father.

Jesus says, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). We must adopt the simple faith and trust of little children in their parents in our relationship with our heavenly Father. He does not look for sophistication or complexity of thought from us. We don’t have to consider the “what ifs” or generate for ourselves Plan Bs or Cs in case God does not come through. These speak of a lack of trust in God. He calls us to rely fully on him as children do with their parents.

Secondly, we must prioritise little children as God’s future generation to inherit the kingdom.

Sometimes, little children are neglected because their voices are not heard as loudly as the other age groups. Yet they belong to the next generation that is full of potential and promise. They will grow up to lead and advance the kingdom of heaven in the future when our generation has passed. Therefore we need to regularly and intentionally sow God’s words in their lives, care for and guide them in God’s ways and leave for them a godly example to follow. They will walk in the strength of the Spirit to accomplish what we cannot – which God has provided for them.

Let us then become pure and innocent like little children in our thoughts and attitudes and commit to caring for and bringing up our young generation in the knowledge of God and faith in him.

God bless,

Revd Ian