We brought our son’s enormous LEGO aircraft carrier to the orchestra rehearsal last week (long story!). The impressive primary-colors plastic block contraption stood out like a sore thumb among the youth a bit too old or perhaps too cool to be caught in public playing with LEGOs. A different kind of playing occupied their minds.
Most just walked by casting surreptitious glances. Some had the courage to approach us and get a closer look. Few actually touched it, discovering secret compartments, testing the many fancy features accessible only to those who took the time to examine it more closely. Eventually, they all went back to their instruments and music. It was time to tune up.
The rehearsal has barely started when B and J entered the room along with their dad and their older sister who also plays in the orchestra.
The moment the boys saw the apparatus they felt its irresistible magnetic pull. The following two hours they delighted in the design, hidden passageways and especially the interactive features of the carrier. They animated the little LEGO people. They shot rubber bullets. They flew the miniature helicopter. They squealed, squeaked, cried out, danced and hopped to the beat of Gershwin and Korsakov rehearsed in the background. Their delight was uncontainable.
Being the responsible kill-joy that I am, I kept reminding them that they have to be quiet. They need to tone it down. That Mrs. M is going to kick us all out along with the aircraft carrier if we continue being disruptive. It wasn’t like they were disobedient. It wasn’t like they were rebellious. They were simply bursting with joy they couldn’t keep down.
Their intense pleasure reminded me of something I have difficulty being able to fathom.
When Jesus entered the religious scene of His time, it was dominated by the somber professionals and sectarians engrossed in rules and rituals, petty squabbles, power struggle and politics.
God was distant and inaccessible.
But, Jesus changed that.
He brought God near making Him accessible, even tangible not just to highly trained professional religious authorities but to the commoners, to the blind and the lame, uneducated, poor, foreigners and even children.
Kids are smart. They catch on quickly. They were drawn to Him with irresistible magnetic pull of love. They discovered the secret compartments in the heart of God loaded up with surprises custom-fitted for them.
They accepted the open invitation to see and touch, feel and taste the goodness of God and what they discovered in Him filled them with irrepressible, disruptive joy.
The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!...”...When the religious leaders...heard all the children running and shouting through the Temple, “Hosanna to David’s Son!” they were up in arms and took him to task. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” Jesus said, “Yes, I hear them. And haven’t you read in God’s Word, ‘From the mouths of children and babies I’ll furnish a place of praise’?” Matthew 21:9, 15-16