Thursday, July 29, 2010

Just Touch Me!

"And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus called for them, saying, 'Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.'  
"A ruler questioned Him, saying, 'Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' ... He said to him, 'One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess ... and come, follow Me.'  But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.  And Jesus looked at him and said, 'How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!'"
Luke 18:15-24, NASB (excerpts)

Children just wanna be touched.

I recall some of the earliest words out of my little girl's mouth, as she was learning to talk---"Please...me up!  Please...me up!" 

In her plaintive, wee voice, with chubby little arms stretched upward for Daddy's love and attention, the plea sounded exactly like "Beam me up!  Beam me up!"---until she was magically transported through the air and into her father's arms.

Children just wanna be touched.

Not so with us adults.  We're more reserved.  Like Richie, the young aristocrat, who came to Jesus for a to-do list.

Or worse yet, we're protocol people, like the disciples:  "Orders are, Nobody can see the Great Oz!  Not nobody, not nohow!"

Jesus surely cut loose a hearty laugh, as he called over the shoulders of his self-appointed bodyguards.  "Nonsense...Step right up, kids! Children just wanna be touched.

"And by the way, if you oafs had half a brain, you'd line up for a touch too.  You're so busy guarding the doors to the Kingdom that you haven't entered it yourselves!  Step inside.  You'll discover that it's not about rules, to-dos, or protocol.  The babies have it right---it's all about touch."

These two vignettes---Jesus touching the babies and Jesus confronting the young ruler---are listed back-to-back for a reason.  He's speaking to us across the centuries, saying, "Some of you are missing My touch because your rules and religiosity keep you away.  And, some are held back by other affections such as money or status.  Have a good look at these babies!  See the joy and laughter?  Children just wanna be touched!"