Today’s Advent reflection is written by JamesPrescott.co.uk. James is a writer & creative from Sutton, near London in the UK. He blogs regularly at www.jamesprescott.co.uk where he explores how we find divine hope in the messy journey of life. He also guest posts on several different blogs. James loves to write, encourage people, read, tweet and watch movies.
I’m guessing many of you have heard the phrase ‘children of God’. I also wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve heard about how we need to come to Jesus ‘like children’. It’s a topic casually discussed quite often.
But what does it mean?
First, it means innocence and vulnerability. Children are innocent. They are vulnerable. Completely dependent in many ways on their parents. They have no choice but to trust them.
But there is more to it than this.
When Jesus talks about us coming to Him as children, He is talking about our thought life too.
When I look back at my childhood now, I see how naive I was. I thought I had all the answers. I thought myself smart, clever. Many of us do when we’re young. In time, we all realise how little we knew. How foolish we were.
Many of us have this childish attitude toward our relationship with God.
We think we have all the answers. We think we’re keeping with all the rules. We try to control our view of God, in order to feel safe.
But God doesn’t want us to come to Him childishly. He wants us to come as children.
Coming to God as children isn’t just about innocence and vulnerability.
It’s about realising how little we know. Understanding no one can know God completely. Coming to terms with the fact there will always be a mysterious, unknown and uncontrollable dimension to our relationship with God.
And this is where our relationship with Him must begin.
First, accept God is mysterious, unknown and uncontrollable. Once we have done this, we have no option but to trust Him. To hold on to what we do know, without knowing it all.
This is true faith. This is coming to Jesus like a child.
A child-like faith comes to Jesus accepting the mystery, trusting what we do not fully know. And choosing to follow Him anyway. Choosing to listen, to learn and grow into who He made us to be.
Maybe this is what fearing God truly is. To accept the mystery, and to choose to follow God anyway. Once we accept our lack in comparison to God, we can become truly wise.
And true wisdom is to recognise we know nothing in comparison to God.
So as we go through Advent, let us surrender all we know. All we have experienced. Everything we think we understand about God.
Instead, let us begin again.
Let us come to Jesus as children.
And aware our knowledge and experience is foolishness before God.
May we be ready and willing to learn from our creator.
Allowing God to shape us. To mould us into the people we were created to be.