“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” –Luke 2:32 (NRSV)
Father Henri Nouwen once said that if we are concerned with the world’s “if’s,” then we are destined to be enslaved. We look for love, and the world gives it… “if.” If you think like me, buy from me, sell for me, obey me. If you’re wealthy, good looking, well-educated, and talented.
The Gospel attracts us because Jesus eliminates the world’s if’s. He simply proclaims that you don’t have to be anything other than who you are. You don’t have to earn your acceptance and worth. Instead, “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
This verse from Luke’s version of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is unique. Matthew doesn’t include it; he focuses on what the disciple must focus on, seeking the Kingdom first (6:33). Luke, though, simply says it’s a gift that’s there for the receiving. You only have to give up being enslaved by the world’s if’s and allow yourself to being enslaved to the One who already calls you beautiful, just as you are.
The start of that is seeing yourself as the Father sees you. Totally unique. An eternally child-like mixture of awe’s and flaws that makes you as captivating as a child waking up to the wonder of a new day.
How wonderful it is that the Master called us his “little flock.” It’s as if God always sees the beauty of the child which is you. Do you see yourself as such a child, who is free to live today because they naturally take for granted the Father’s love?
And who doesn’t love a child?