Some Pharisees came, and to test Jesus they asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her." But Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.Mark 10:2-16
Today is the final day of our convention gathering. I have been so touched by so many, moved by the ministry and their humility. One dear woman, Helen, came up to me and took my arm and said, "God told me to tell you he loves you, he really does!" Straight forward, like a child, she told me a truth I needed to hear. In the complexity of transitions, moving and starting in a new place, it is easy to forget the simple truth that God loves us, like a mother or father treasures a small child, no matter their age. As the music rises and the laughter persists, I am deeply moved by my new family. We were strangers just a few days ago, and now I am welcomed and loved as a child among them.
Jesus is hounded with questions by the religious leaders and his disciples. They want solid rules and clear direction. He gives them the clearest direction to the heart of God, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." The word of God to us today is to find the deep trust and love within us, which we were born with and given as a gift from God, and love others with the same love we have been given.
Today, I ask God to give me the eyes and heart of a child. May the jadedness and weariness not cloud my heart or my vision. May we all set aside politics and rules and come to God with an open heart and eyes of wonder. May God surprise is all today with love and laughter. And may we fill the world with the love and laughter we have been given today.
Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.