Chickadee is at that fun age where, when she sees our pastors in their vestments, she calls them “Jesus.” Adults like to chuckle when small children make this mistake, but in some ways, I think that toddlers and preschoolers really have it right when they view their pastors in this way.
When our pastors stand before us in the worship service on Sunday (or any other church day), they do so as ministers called by the Holy Spirit. And when they pronounce the forgiveness of our sins, they do so in the stead (or place of) Christ Himself, at His command.
Of course, as adults, we know that pastors aren’t Jesus…they’re sinful humans just like us. But I think we sometimes forget what children so naturally see–those pastors are standing in, bodily, for Jesus Himself, while He is away from us in His Kingdom. So when a small child mistakes her pastor for Jesus, she’s not too far off the mark, and she’s reminding us adults of what we should have known all along!