This is the time of year that we seem to really understand the Spirit of Children. Sure, it comes through the Spirit of Christmas but this season has kid stuff stamped all over it. There are children’s concerts, Angel Breakfasts, and trips to see Santa. Special gifts for the kids that we wouldn’t buy any other time of the year. We all get to play the fun kid game of hiding gifts and treasures from each other until Christmas Day. We buy cute kid size holiday clothing. We go out of our way to play with others at countless Christmas gatherings and parties. We “have ” to try out the toys we’ve bought to make sure they work. Just like the kids, we all eat way too much cookies and candy but we can justify it because it’s just this time of year where we be happy, and festive, and let’s just call it what it is. It’s ok for all of us to be kiddos again.

And then of course we recognize the whole reason of the Advent is for the coming of one pretty special kiddo. Our Lord and King who came as a precious little baby. Imagine that, a baby that wasn’t planned, who wasn’t expected, that was despised by a king, has the whole world’s attention right now. How anything good could come from Nazereth was beyond comprehension.

It saddens me to think of all the negative thoughts, opinions, and words surrounding Mary while she was pregnant with Jesus. For some reason in our society we pass on this idea that only if a baby is planned for or wanted then that’s where they’re value is. We get this unfounded idea that they are selfish beings and have little worth until they reach adulthood. We tend to brush past their ideas, opinions, and feelings as immature and stupid.

When I read Mark 9:36-37 I get the feeling we have it all wrong.

He took a little child whom He placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my names welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me but does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

At the very least I think we should all take pause how we view children. What a beautiful picture of Jesus taking a little child into His arms to speak with those around him. What does that have to say about Jesus that a child was that nearby to him?

The Sparrow’s Nest takes these type of scriptures very seriously. The picture of the teen Mary holding the baby Jesus is very near and dear to our hearts. This scripture is a wonderful reminder of why but how we serve The Least, The Lost, and The Lonely.

How can we use the Spirit of Children to reach The Least, The Lost, and The Lonely?

Why do you think children were such a large part of Jesus’ teaching? What does that tell us about how He values babies and children?

What thoughts do you think the child had as Jesus pulled her near to him?