If the kingdom of heaven and Christmas are for kids, what exactly is it about kids that give them this honor? When Jesus was entering Jerusalem on what we know as Palm Sunday, the crowds were shouting and singing and praising God for they had acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah who was to come. But the religious leaders rebuked the crowds and called for Jesus to do the same. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” They asked him. “Yes”, replied Jesus. Then Jesus quoted an Old Testament passage that prophesied that upon the arrival of the Messiah, God would make sure that “children and infants” would praise Him. (See Matthew 21:16). What kids do is worship! They especially worship at the coming of the Messiah which is what we celebrate at Christmas time.

Children always look up to those all around them. I once got lost in Brandies when I was 6 years old.  Brandies, for those of you who do not know, was the largest department store in downtown Omaha back in the 1950s. It would be compared to Higbees in The Christmas Story movie. I was on the 8th floor where all the toys were, and I got disoriented and my mother was waiting in a checkout line.  The most frightening thing was that everyone around me was so huge and I was so small. I felt helpless. I didn’t know which way to turn and the big people were all too busy rushing past me to stop and help. It wasn’t until I began to cry that someone stopped and took me to a store employee who announced in the store that if anyone had lost a little boy to come to the lost and found. That was me, I was lost! But then Mom showed up and I was found. That was me, once I was lost, but now I’ve been found. I remember how happy I was to see my mom! It was like being rescued from a raging sea of fear and confusion and being placed on dry ground.

Uncorrupted worship is worship that comes from that salvation experience. It’s what the Psalmist described in Psalm 95 when he wrote, “Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the LORD is a great God and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.” So John reminds us in 1 John 1:3, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”