The prophet Isaiah writes: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.”
When Jesus allowed small children to come to him to be blessed, the apostles objected. The Lord corrected them firmly–rebuked them, the Scriptures say–teaching them yet again that human logic, however well-meant, is not always in line with what God intends.
I’ve been working on the image of St. Mark and St. Luke, who are standing in the background of this icon stunned, surprised, and without understanding. “Whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” We still ponder exactly what that means, what the Lord is telling us here with word and deed. Some feel that the meaning is that Jesus is accepting of everyone, that no one is turned away. Others feel that we must gain the trusting, open attitude of a child, to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and place ourselves in the embrace of the Lord.
The apostles are open to this new idea, accepting the authority of the Word even as they wonder about its meaning. In reflecting on this small portion of the icon, I strive to be open to the message of the Lord, in all of its complexities and truth, and to let the image help to form and guide my life.