Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
We have had an extraordinary few days. Our grand daughter Lilly and her Mom Ariel have been staying here and our other daughters Emily and Phoebe are here too. We attended a lovely Quaker wedding yesterday, sitting out in the sun and the heat as two dear people committed themselves to one another. It was a big extended family and we got to see old friends and watch the kids play and everybody dance. Yesterday brought home the incredible value of love and relationships, something no money can replace, nor possessions can fill the holes. Like little children we are precious in the sight of God, and more desired than gold and riches.
This passage begins with Jesus blessing the children and ends with him instructing an young man about God's priorities. God priorities are with the heart, with the vulnerable and the tender, the caring and the compassionate. God dwells in the midst of our relationships and not in our things or in our accomplishments. God dwells where love is found and we are invited to focus on the activities of love and not on amassing fame or riches. We are invited to find love and renew love in all that we do.
Today, I ask God to help me set worry and things aside, and to focus on the love and joy present this day. May my heart be always open, my hands always be ready and my lips always forgiving and full of song. May every one of us know the heart of God as we love others. May God be known as we love and live with compassion and humility, with a childlike wonder and joy.