“Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt. 18:3)
Jesus says here that the requirement for entrance in the Kingdom is to be born again. Just as he told Nicodemus on another occasion, he tells his disciples here that they must find some way to become little kids again. And this means that we must ultimately find some way to go back into our mother’s womb (as Nicodemus suggested), or we must find some way to die and come back into the world again. Of course it is the latter provision that Jesus has brought into the world in his own death and resurrection. The way we all become children is by being joined to his re-birth in the resurrection. When Jesus came out of the tomb on that first Easter morning, he did so as a child, alive again for the first time. And by the working of the Holy Spirit we are joined to that new life, that child-like existence. If we have been raised to a newness of life, as Paul says in Romans, that means we’ve been raised as newborn babies, infants. And that’s the only way in, Jesus says. And that’s the only way to rejoice at this table. This feast is for kids. This table is for little children. This is the feast of the new covenant, the feast of new life, the table of eternal life. It’s no accident that stories dream of lands and gifts where you never grow up, whether it’s the fountain of youth or neverland. But that gift is found here in the life of Jesus who burst out of the tomb and conquered death as a little child. But not only as a little child, but also as a little child who can never grow old, a child who cannot die, a child who only has life before him, a child who has eternity to play, to dance, to rejoice. So come you children of the new Israel. You are not old; you are all young. You are all little children. And you are called to come and rejoice. Eat and drink in the kingdom of your Father; rejoice in the newness of life that is yours forever. For if you eat of his flesh and drink of his blood, you shall never die. The life you have in him is the life of endless youth, the vigor and joy of a little child. So come and rejoice as children of God. And really if wanted to do this right, we should insist on bibs and high chairs for everyone.