I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)
“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,
“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’
For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.” Luke 7:28-35
I spent some time in my new office yesterday. The view from the window is spectacular, and the people in this place are warm and friendly. I keep wondering and praying about how I can best help them. They are full of many good things and the past year have wrought so many changes and some turmoil. It is always the task of an interim to help folks move into a sustainable future. I don't doubt that is there for them, rather, how do we celebrate and refine the many gifts they have among them. I pray for wisdom and the insight of a child to see and celebrate the love that is so apparent among them.
Jesus is challenged by the religious authorities and by those oversee the standards of the temple. When one is responsible for the regulation of things, one can often lose sight of the big, and one can often not see the love and ministry that is right in front of us. God invites us to hear the music and the invitation to dance and weep right where we are. God invites us to celebrate and refine that which we have been given and to have the heart of a child as we move through our own marketplaces and communities.
Today I ask God to give me the sight and the audacity of a child. May my heart always be ready to embrace, celebrate and participate. May we all be given new joy and wisdom this day, so that we might embrace the love right in front of us and find ways to honor and share that love with others. In new and strange places, may we find make a welcome and a home for those who have been scolded and shut out all too long.