Reflections: March 11, 2021
Thursday of the Third Week of Lent
By Aaron Fenker
Permit the little children to come to Me; do not slow them down, for the Kingdom of God is theirs." (Mark 10:14)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. You don't do anything to be saved. Sorry, rich guy in Mark 10. Jesus wanted to save him from more than his worldly riches. Jesus wanted to save him from the riches of his own works. Jesus would save that rich man from whatever he trusted in. Inheritance from God, getting into His Kingdom, isn't done by way of works. Even in our daily lives, no one inherits because of what they do. We inherit by way of gift, relationship, because the person giving (bequeathing) the inheritance dies. You don't do anything to get it.
But you and I keep trying. It's why we think we're not saved when we let other people, God, or ourselves down. It's also why we think we're more Christian, more saved, when we act better than others, even people in our own congregations and families. "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" is hardwired into us as sinners.
"It's hard for rich people to be saved," Jesus warns. In the way of the Law, to be saved is to sell everything. Even then, "Who can be saved?" "With man it is impossible, but not with God. For everything is possible with God." What's possible? Saving. The Lord does His salvation by way of Gift. He rescues sinners. Jesus sheds His blood, more precious than gold or silver, for them. He gives His eternal Kingdom to those who've got nothing else going for them except Him.
So it is even to little children. Talk about nothing in themselves! Nothing before God. For they get the Kingdom. It's theirs by faith, trusting in Jesus. He gives it freely to them, little children. Even infants! (See Luke 18:16 about that.) In Holy Baptism Jesus gives the Kingdom away. It's yours. You're baptized into it.
"Lasset die Kindlein zu Mir kommen." So it says on the baptismal font at one of my congregations. "Let the little children come to Me." Don't keep children away from Baptism, don't wait for the family to get together, don't wait for Grandma, Grandpa, anyone else. "Don't keep them away," Jesus says. Bring them right to me. If anyone wants the obedience way, waiting to baptize is disobeying Jesus.
No need to go away sad. There is always more gift from Jesus. He died for you, for all, even babies. You, the baptized. As His baptized children, "the kingdom ours remaineth." In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Miracle each time it happens As the door to heaven opens And the Father beams, "Beloved, Heir of gifts a king would covet!" ("See This Wonder in the Making" LSB 593, st.2)
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
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