TERRE HAUTE —
One day when Jesus was with His disciples, they asked Him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus beckoned a child to come stand among them and then told the disciples: “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatestthe kingdom of heaven.” (Read the whole encounter in Matthew 18:1-6.)
I thought I understood that verse till about 10 days ago.
My six-year old grandson wandered into my sewing room. He’s been told hundreds of times, “Leave Nonnie’s sewing things alone.” Nevertheless, he reached out to more closely investigate a lamp that was fastened to my sewing table with a clamp. When the lamp would not move, he pushed. When it resisted his pushing, he pushed harder, breaking the lamp, clamp and all. With his lower lip sticking out, my grandson asked, “Can you fix it, Papaw? When Papaw said it was too broken to fix, my grandson ran to the bedroom, dove under the covers and began to sob.
I went in to comfort him. He was sobbing so hard he could barely mutter, “I’m sorry, Nonnie.” Brokenly, he told me, “I don’t like to have to say ‘Sorry.’” I told him none of us liked to say “I’m sorry,” but he shook his head and said, “No, Nonnie. I don’t like to be sorry.” Then, through my own tears, I asked, “You mean you don’t like to do things that are wrong?” He nodded. “Nonnie, I don’t like to do bad things even when I know I’m doing bad things.” I hugged him and told him that I loved him and forgave him. He smiled though his tears and then all was well again in his 6-year-old heart.
My grandson knew he should not touch Nonnie’s sewing things, because he had been told that over and over. But he touched them anyway, and the consequences were awful. Not only had he broken something that didn’t belong to him, but what was broken could not be fixed. His remorse and sorrow over what he had done shattered his heart, and he cried out his sin to the one he had sinned against.
That’s when it hit me. That’s when I understood Jesus’ words to his disciples: “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Little children know enough to admit when they’ve done wrong. They don’t have adult-like pride that prevents them from admitting their sin. The hearts of little children have not yet been hardened, and when they realize they have hurt someone, their hearts are broken. Little children feel genuine regret, remorse and shame when they do wrong. Yet, when they are forgiven, little children readily accept the love and forgiveness that covers their sin.
Would that we would become more like little children, heeding the warnings about what we are not supposed to do, being genuinely broken-hearted over our sins, confessing our sins to the one we sinned against, and rejoicing over the forgiveness we receive.
“Therefore, whoever humbles himself like a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Verna Davis, speaker and writer, maybe reached at email@example.com.
TERRE HAUTE —
Cross Lane Church accepting shoe donations
Terre Haute residents are invited to donate their shoes to help millions of peopleworldwide with a shoe drive at Cross Lane Community Church on June 2.
- Church briefs: May 18, 2013
The Joy Lady: A good morning: everything that rises must converge
Last Monday, I had a good morning.
Unity Presbyterian plans retirement open house
The congregation of Unity Presbyterian Church will stage a retirement celebration open house to honor the church’s pastor, Linda Jo Peters, from 2 to 4 p.m. on May 19 at 1207 E. Springhill Drive.
Organist will be the featured guest at church
Organist Benjamin Kolodziej will be the featured guest at an organ recital at 4 p.m. on May 19 at Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 645 Poplar St.
THE JOY LADY: Call your mom; tell her you love her, that you miss her
In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a resolution proclaiming “the second Sunday in May to be hereafter known as ‘Mother’s Day.’”
- CHURCH BRIEFS: May 11, 2013
Celebrate the women in your life with The Living Rosary
On Friday, May 10, join the Sisters of Providence of St. Mary-of-the-Woods for The Living Rosary and experience the grace and power many people have discovered by “praying by hand.”
THE JOY LADY: When awe leaves us, we leave room for doubt
In any given gathering of grade-schoolers or even a gaggle of teenagers, in all likelihood, you will hear certain words over and over:
- CHURCH BRIEFS: May 4, 2013
- RELIGION BRIEFS: May 4, 2013
Good Friday service today at St. George Orthodox
St. George Orthodox Church at 1900 S. Fourth St., Terre Haute, will celebrate its Good Friday service at 7 p.m. today (May 3) and its Easter service at 9 p.m. Saturday. The Agape (Love) service will be conducted at noon on Sunday.
Organist’s concert May 5
Organist Jonathan Rudy will be in concert performing works from the 1600’s to the present day at 4 p.m. on Sunday at Central Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Seventh St.
The concert is free and open to the public.
THE JOY LADY: Christ is coming again. Are you ready for that?
An older couple had a grandfather clock that announced each hour with the ringing of chimes.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: April 27, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Let us pray that our hearts be blessed by God
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my uncle and his family in Florida.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: April 20, 2013
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THE JOY LADY: You can learn a lot from a box of crayons
Denis Omar is a handsome third-grader in Ocotillo, Honduras. The last time I was in his home, his colored chalk drawings decorated the concrete block walls. His mother said when she got tired of one drawing, she’d wash the wall and have Denis draw another.
- RELIGION BRIEFS: April 13, 2013
BBQ fundraiser April 13 at Allen Chapel
Historic Allen Chapel’s annual barbecue dinner fundraiser is Saturday, April 13, in the Chapel at Third and Crawford streets. Serving will be from noon to 6 p.m. with a full-line of dinner, sandwiches, sides and desserts available. Chef Stephen Miller, formerly owner of the Black Skillet and now a caterer in Cincinnati, will again prepare the barbecue.
THE JOY LADY: Most complaints tend to be pretty selfish
Complainers never think they are in the wrong. How could they be when they know everyone else is so wrong?
Church briefs: April 6, 2013
What's going on this week at area churches.
THE JOY LADY: Our attendance in worship services encourages other worshippers
There are all kinds of church attendees. Some attend church services once or twice a month, some once or twice a year. Some attend only Sunday morning worship.
African children’s choir to perform at Mount Pleasant
The Watoto Children’s Choir, traveling from Africa, began its five-month eastern U.S. tour in Oak Bluffs, Mass., on Oct. 6 and are continuing the tour through Terre Haute, Lebanon, Indianapolis, Peru, Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville and Vevay, from April 16 to May 1. All performances are free and open to the public.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: March 30, 2013
- Religion briefs: March 30, 2013
THE JOY LADY: Is it time to change your habits, attitudes?
I’m usually introduced to people as “the preacher’s wife.” No name, just “the preacher’s wife.” But I’d prefer being known by what I call my “I am” statements. For instance, I am a wife. I am a speaker, I am a writer. I am a mother, I am a mother-in-law, I am a grandmother.
- CHURCH BRIEFS: March 23, 2013
Public invited to explore Guerin’s connection to nature
The Sisters of Providence invite the public to St. Mary-of-the-Woods on April 6 to explore Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and her connection to nature.
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- Cross Lane Church accepting shoe donations