Sometimes, despite all our eloquence and intelligence, the best way to say something is in the most simplest way possible.
I was talking with a friend today about our goal to see Abby accept Jesus as her saviour this year. I found myself explaining that at first I thought she was too young to make this decision, but I came to remember about other young children I know or know of that have made the very same decision and some of the comments made by their parents.
A former university professor of mine often talked about how his three year old son would participate in communion. When, or rather, if people told him it was inappropriate, he would tell them that communion is about two very basic principles of which his son has a perfect grasp: Jesus is our friend, and Jesus saves us.
Whenever I think of this story, it reminds me of another simple truth:
“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.“ -Matthew 18:3
What is so striking about this verse is that in the original Greek, the “not” is a double negative. Unlike English, where a double negative cancels itself out and becomes a positive, a Greek double negative is an absolute negative. Some other translations more correctly interpret the “not” as “never”.
I believe this is why I find such joy when Abby expresses her understanding of Jesus in her simple words and lack of vocabulary. When she prays and thanks Jesus for her friends and asks for good dreams, it makes me remember my many blessings (of which she is one). When she says that Jesus was stuck on the cross and has an owie for her, it is just so striking.
Often we adults get so caught up in the finer dynamics of our faith, discussing and thrashing out the differences in doctrine between Pentecostals and Baptists and Catholics and Mennonites and so on (I could be here all night if I tried to name all the major denominations!).
Instead of arguing, if we (globally) could just remember that unity is not the same as conformity and unite as the Bride of Christ under the simple and universal truths of our faith, we could have a lasting impact such as was seen in the early days of the Church.