Let the Children Come to Me
This week is the final of the three weeks of our KidzROCK Summer Camps here at CCC. Over the years, I have heard a lot of great things about the KidzROCK camps, but have never had the chance to experience them myself.
I had no idea just how rich a history these camps have at CCC, going back decades. A majority of the counselors and leaders that make camp possible once attended the camps themselves as campers. Many who were once campers now have their kids in camp as well.
Before the camp even began, it was amazing to see the church transformed into an outer-space adventure matching this year’s theme “Stellar Rock.” The amount of hard work and care put into the decorations alone was a good sign of the care that was to come each of the following weeks.
As I wandered around the building throughout each camp week, I saw kids running around, having fun, and building relationships that could last a lifetime with fellow campers and their counselors. And then, every day, as they all enter the chapel, the best sight of them all was revealed: worship. Hearing a room filled to the brim with children all singing praise to God, proclaiming that “Jesus is the light of the world” put a smile on my face every single day.
It reminds me of the time in the gospel of Luke that all of the children came to Jesus:
One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him.
Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
Luke 18:15-17 NLT
All of the kids simply ran to Jesus. No pretense. Just a simple, unabated desire to come and be with Him. A pure, child-like faith.
The disciples, however, thought the children gathering around Jesus was wasting His time, a huge bother. They became so deeply entrenched in what they thought were the most important things that they missed the beauty of Jesus' singular focus on being with a bunch of kids that just wanted to be with Him.
But Jesus’ rebuke of them makes it very clear: let the children come. There is nothing more important in the eyes of Jesus than letting the children of God come and be with Him. There’s no schedule, no meeting, no big event that is more important to Jesus than having the kids come to Him.
Now, I can't help but picture so many of our campers being among those running to Jesus, just wanting to be with Him, singing songs, and having fun in His presence.
But being in Jesus’ presence with that child-like faith isn’t about the singing or the fun. Don’t get me wrong, both of those things are awesome! Instead, it's about the children’s singular focus on Jesus. Just wanting to be with Him, spending time with Him.
Nowadays, it is easy for us to feel more like the disciples, thinking that such a simple, child-like focus on Jesus is not only bothersome but also takes away important time in our lives. The priority, however, is Jesus. Spending time with Him, no strings attached, and no planned agenda.
A simple, free interaction with Jesus. He is always there, with His arms open wide, ready to welcome you just as you are.