As a Little Child


It is widely held that Christmas is a holiday for children. After all, secular celebrations of Christmas focus on giving toys, the belief (or lack thereof) in Santa Claus, whimsical talking snowmen, candy, and flying reindeer. For Christians, there is an emphasis on Christ Himself as a little child and the simplistic nature of the faith that brings us to His door. Perhaps this is why adults often find themselves more willing to put up with childishness at this time of year—in contrast to all the other seasons. Perhaps Christmas helps them see the eternal childishness in themselves, and they are more willing to give it free reign at Christmastime.

Adults try to soil the innocence of Christmas. They paint Santa as a dirty old man, deface nativity scenes, turn Christmas parties upside-down with drinking games, and, worst of all, replace the giving spirit of the season with a spirit of covetousness. Somewhere in the process of growing up, many of us forget what faith is. We decide we’re too old for it. Without that faith, we can respect nothing. Not even Christmas.

I spent the day babysitting three little boys with massive imaginations. My primary responsibility during the day was to assist in the construction of the world’s most complicated fort. I felt like a grown-up Wendy; an interloper in the world of these wild and wooly little lost boys. My fort-building abilities are limited at best, but I was taller and stronger than my supervisors, so I did a lot of the moving and placing and lifting. To them, this fort was serious business. No Nerf war can be fought without a proper set of defenses. Not if the general has any self-respect. Construction quality was key. To them, this fort was no mere pile of twigs. This was a castle. A barricade. A Helm’s Deep. When I allowed myself to view it as seriously as they did, I found myself working much harder to make everything right.

Christmas is a joyful time. It should always be a joyful time, unsullied by jealously, greediness, and sensuality. Christmas needs respect because of what began it in the first place. A Child. God Himself in the form of an infant, sacrificing a throne in heaven so He could die as one of us. It is childlike faith that will bring us to an acceptance of the salvation this Child offers us. If my three small friends could take something as simple as building a backyard fort so seriously, then surely the adults of the world can bring themselves to take God’s Gift of love very seriously indeed.  


6 responses »

  1. The Dadster Ripostes:

    “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me” (Matt. 18:3-5).

    “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:1-9).

    “For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth (Zech. 4:10).

    It delights the Holy One of Heaven, in His foolishness, to confound the “wise and prudent” of this world by simple, foolish things. The innocent wonder of a child is God’s universal teacher to us: Humble ourselves, sit quietly in His lap, rest gently on His breast. These are the things that delight Him and move Him to bless and to defend with a righteous wrath those who trust in Him.

    Christmas gives to each of us a chance, each year, once again to recapture that childish wonder.

    So give generously. Wonder with amazement. Laugh with abandon. Rejoice with awe.


    The Dadster

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