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The Restful Practice of Play

Play can restore our souls from the damage done by our accomplishment-driven, workaholic culture.

Once, Jesus' disciples—who were beginning to realize that God's kingdom was not like earthly kingdoms—asked him to clarify: Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? In other words, how do you move ahead? By way of reply, Jesus "called a little child, whom he placed among them. And he said: 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes a humble place—becoming like this child—is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven'" (Matt. 18:2-4, NRSV).

You minister to children, so you know all about play. And while our job of leading and serving kids is important and, in many ways, serious, we can sometimes lose some of our joy. Ironically, we ignore the example of the children right in front of us and get way too serious about everything.

What does it mean to play, to be childlike (which is a bit different from being childish)? And what did Jesus mean when he said that the greatest ...

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