Daily Devotion for Monday 24th June 2024

Monday, 24 June 2024
“Humility in the presence of the flower on the tree line opens the way up onto the mountain” *

Reading Luke 18, 15-17

Now people were even bringing their babies to him for him to touch. But when the disciples saw it, they began to scold those who brought them. But Jesus called for the children, saying, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

Reflection

The first steps of life are built on wonder, think of a child’s wonder at the world that surrounds it. Wonder, or awe, gives the awareness of being part of something greater. As we grow older, we often lose the trust or even ability to be filled with wonder. A human-centred admiration takes over, a need to be admired and our misguided admiration of purely human achievements, status, wealth, etc. 

When we are very small everything can seem wonderful. A tiny flower can be something a young child stares at in wonder. I have always loved a photo of one of my granddaughters when she was very young, staring in wonder at her shadow on the grass. But it doesn’t take long before the child gets older and other things take over. The child’s sense of wonder ebbs away and more human-centred things take over as important in the child’s life: how the child is doing at school, what teachers, or even more important, what other children say about, or to, the child, and what he or she wears and how they behave. And as life goes on, maybe wealth, status, job titles become important, both the person’s own and those of other people. 

But it is possible to regain, or better still, not to lose that sense of wonder, still to be captivated by the small, to see the wonder of creation in the tiny flower as much as, or more than, in human creations. It is possible to let the sense of awe in seeing the tiny flower lead us on to the wonder and vision as we reach the top of the mountain. 

Being small isn’t being worthless, one can be both small in the human view of things and yet still infinitely valuable, still able to play a wonderful part in life and creation. 

Prayer

Lord, help us never to lose our sense of wonder,
wonder at your creation,
 wonder at what you give to us, 
what you have done for us.
Help us not to be distracted by human status, 
not to want to be admired for what we have, 
or by titles, not to judge others’ worth by such things.
Help us to see what is small 
as something just as wonderful as what is big.  Amen

*The quotations are from Hammarskjöld’s diaries, published as “Vägmarken”, I have also found Archbishop K.G.Hammar’s book, “Vägen valde dig” (The Way Chose You) very helpful in provoking the thoughts set out.

Today’s writer

Stephen Dawson is a member of Ipswich Road URC in Norwich

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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