The word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts shall be called the holy mountain. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Even though it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days, should it also seem impossible to me, says the Lord of hosts? Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will save my people from the east country and from the west country; and I will bring them to live in Jerusalem. They shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.
Psalm 102:16-23, 29
The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth your glory.
For the Lord will build up Zion;
he will appear in his glory.
He will regard the prayer of the destitute,
and will not despise their prayer.
Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:
that he looked down from his holy height,
from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die.
The children of your servants shall live secure;
their offspring shall be established in your presence.
That the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion,
and his praise in Jerusalem,
when peoples gather together,
and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.
Matthew 18:1-5, 10
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven.
I’m so glad the disciples asked questions like, “Who is the greatest?”…and so happy to have this answer. The daily competition all around is so grueling: people always trying to get ahead even if it is just one car in traffic, unyielding when they have any power over you, flaunting whatever they have, image-crafting, virtue-signaling, taking advantage of others and fighting them, having to win at everything, cheating, grabbing the best seats, the best of everything, being passive-aggressive, or sad at the success and talents of others, putting people down for their achievements, etc. Anyone tired of all the competition would be thankful to hear that it is not this way in heaven. What a relief!
We know that children can have their selfish moments, but we need to think about what the Lord is saying about humility. A child has no might, is vulnerable and has needs that he can’t meet for himself. He needs a parent. God is the parent, involved, watching, protecting, providing, and enjoying his little ones. God is also the disciplinarian who loves all the children equally and shows no favorites. This sort of relationship can surely help take the pressure off of our lives. This sort of faith and dependency is not a loop-hole to get out of work or to mature, but it is a way to understand how to draw closer to God.
Even as adults, we all know that deep inside ourselves, a little child lives. We will always need our Father and we can get in touch with that child to forget the troubles and impossible demands of the world. If we draw near to our Father and look to Him for all we need, we can stop competing and striving all the time for the things of this earth. We will know that God is with us and can save us.
Today, go to the Father as a little child with the trust of someone completely dependent on Him. He knows what you need. Allow Him to be your Daddy and rest knowing that you are secure.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I come to you today to rest in Your powerful arms. I confide all my fears and hurts to you and ask you to help me feel secure. Knowing I am safe and that you will provide for me, I ask for the strength of your Holy Spirit to lead me and embolden me to go about doing your Will this day. Thank you for your love and assurance that I am still precious to you even though I can do nothing of myself. Amen.