Childlike Faith

The longer we live the more we witness suffering, violence, injustice and all other sorts of problems prevalent in a world formed by systems of anxiety, exclusivism, coercion, and fears of scarcity. Others tell us that this is the way the world works and if you want to make it, you better live accordingly and not be idealistic or naive. We start to believe it and slowly begin mistaking cynicism for maturity and apathy for wisdom. 

Then, we hear Jesus call us to childlike faith but we are unable to imagine a world where enemies can be forgiven, loved or prayed for, so we submit to anxiety-driven violence. We are unable to imagine a society where those who look different or believe in a set of values opposed to our own can be welcomed and understood, so we exclude them and find ways to justify ourselves. We are unable to imagine a society where we treat others as we would be treated, so we jockey for position or power over another, or worse, tear down others as we cling to our “rights,” or take what isn’t ours in the name of preserving our “way of life” or maintaining “national interests.” Consequently, Christ-followers begin living as if this way of life has the final word and left incapable of imagining a world where it’s possible to submit to and demonstrate the reign of the crucified and risen Lord. Tragically, many of us do not see, can not see, or refuse to see this to be true.

childlike1Perhaps this is why Jesus calls us to welcome the reign of God into our lives like little children. I believe he is inviting his people to believe foolishly in a world of new possibilities. He invites us to envision a world where we believe resurrection is possible because we believe God is actively at work in, between and among us. He invites us to believe that the power of self-giving love can turn enemies into friends, that the excluded can be included and neighbors cared for because true compassion can move us toward mutual understanding in spite of disagreement. The crucified and risen King Jesus invites us to believe that the last can be first, the meek can inherit the earth, and self-giving love always ultimately wins. But to believe any of it, to embrace any of the Lord’s description of this kingdom that is and is to come, we must shake off our cynicism and choose to believe again.

As a people of the resurrection we must allow God to form within us childlike faith.


About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Childlike Faith

  1. This was a real encouragement. Thank you so much. I am in a space right now where I am finding it hard to see past the sheer scale of the world’s injustice. Are you are familiar with “The Lord of the Rings”? Sometimes I feel like Aragorn at the black gate. He knows that the evil is just too overwhelming. He cannot win. Hope is illogical. Yet he chooses to fight because the evil must be opposed. Sometimes the world feels like that to me. The scale of the suffering (not mine, but of humanity) is too much to bear and the fight seems pointless. Sometimes childlike faith is all that there is to cling to.


    • Fred says:

      I can appreciate the weight of your feelings, bro. Thank you for sharing and thank you for reading. I am grateful you found it to be an encouraging word. Grace and peace to you, Peter.


Join the conversation, but please be gracious.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s