13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
14 Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’
I went to a talk a few years back about long-chain polymers and their amazing properties by a scientist called Steve Mould. Long chain polymers are like a string of beads, really long chemicals in a single line. They do some bizarre things. There’s a short video here if you’re curious to see him talk about them for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dQJBBklpQQ. One of the things such polymers are used for are plastic bags, which are made of loads of them lined alongside each other from the top by the handle to the bottom. Because that’s the way they’re lined up, the bags can take a lot of weight pulling downwards, the stress goes down the chain. Because they’re all lined up that way, however, they will fall to pieces over time because there aren’t so many chemical links holding the polymers sideways with each other – all the links go down the chain, not from one chain to the next. This is why if you leave a bag in the cupboard for a long time, you can return and find a mess of plastic bits on the floor….
What’s that got to do with church or our passage? Good question! I think these bags are a little like a metaphor or parable of the church. We tend to naturally relate to people in the same generation as ourselves, and there’s nothing wrong with that, in fact it can be a great strength for that generation. But if we don’t have relationships between the generations, then like that plastic bag, over time the church as a whole will collapse…
Father, help us to value people of all ages, just as you do.