"Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, "'From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise'?" Matthew 21:16
The words that come from my daughter's mouth are amazing. I find myself amused, humbled, concerned, astonished, and baffled on a regular basis. One minute, she'll be saying something amazingly sweet, then I'll hear her say something sarcastic that sounds (ahem) very too familiar, and the next she'll use a phrase that makes her sound like a wise old woman in a six-year-old body. I never know what I'm going to hear.
One thing that I am realizing, though, is how much of what she says is because of what she hears. That cute cliche came from one of her grandparents, that sarcastic "whatever" came out of my mouth last night (oops!), and the sweetness was probably modeled by her Sunday School teacher all this year.
When the religious elders took Jesus to task for what the children were proclaiming as they ran around waving palm branches, he reminded them of the Psalm that declared, "from the mouths of babes and nursing infants you have ordained praise." But where do the children get the words to praise god? From the adults around them. Those children had been part of the crowd on Palm Sunday and had heard their parents and the other adults shouting, "Hosanna!"
If I want my daughter's tongue to sing the praises of God, I need to be modeling that for her at home. She needs to hear words of praise and love and worship for our God, not complaining and worry and bitterness. And for those words to come from my mouth, my heart needs to be filled with treasures from the Word of God, for "from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks."
As I go through Holy Week this year, I want to be aware of what I am modeling to my children, as well as to everyone else around me. May we all be ordained to praise!