1 Corinthians 8:3 – But anyone who loves God is known by him. (NRSV)
Each child is different, as we all are. My three-year-old great-grandson, Daniel, knocks things down accidentally, but is quick to say, "I'm sorry." He is almost overly careful, for a healthy and spunky three-year-old. Together we dried the floor with towels, filling the vase to give the flowers another chance. Daniel repeated everything I said. Daniel was not in a hurry to go and play, but followed me around with a hundred questions. His eyes caught a wall hanging of Mary and Baby Jesus, another of Mary holding Jesus on her lap after the crucifixion, a Bible, hymnal, manger scene, candles, and the prayer of St. Francis. We stopped at each item, and a story was told. Sometimes they echoed differently from Daniel. He would add a beautiful version or another version. When I said, "Daniel, Jesus loves you," he said: "No, he doesn't." I said, "You are somebody." Daniel said, "No, I'm not." Daniel is learning for the first time in his life that Jesus loves him, that he is somebody, and so are his daddy and mommy, and moreover, so are all people.
Already at age three, a child has the understanding and is readily teachable about which way he or she should go. Well it is, then, for us all to be told of God's love when we are young. A few simple stories will leave forever-influencing marks and help us to become comfortable in Jesus' love.
It is well worth our time to seek to discover what truths God has for us in his Word and to discover which stories are particularly important ones for us.
Prayer: Lord God, forgive us for knocking down your Word when it comes to us. Help us not to be overly fearful of you, but to know that you lift up an erring child. Help us to see ourselves as your healthy and spunky children, whom you love best of all, quick to say "I'm sorry." Help us to let Jesus clean everything up. Help us to repeat your words of promise and hope. Amen.