It would be lovely to think that as Christians the criticism that Matthew makes here in verse 16 cannot be levelled at us. Do we quarrel and argue like children sitting in a play ground?
The passage points that, if we’re in the mood to object or grumble, we can always find something to fixate upon. John the Baptist was too serious. Jesus wasn’t serious enough! And in church today there’s plenty that can, if we’re not careful, become the focus of our attention – whether that be a discussion about preferred type of worship or liturgy, the preacher’s sermon style, or whether someone has been ‘wronged’ by another. But all of this discussion distracts from our true focus – the good news of Jesus Christ. In this season of advent this passage reminds us to clear away the clutter of any quarrelling and spurious objections, and instead focus on the story of love come down for us.
Forgive us when we are, in Matthew’s words, “like children sitting in the market places calling to one another”.