Monday, June 20, 2016

Blessing Children

 Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.
 Then someone came to him and said, ‘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 wish to enter into 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; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these;* what do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money* to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Matthew 19:13-22

Today is the first full day of Grace Camp and in Chapel this morning we spoke about blessings and gratitude. We were all asked to say out loud what we were any children were thankful for their families despite the fact that we each has at least one parent in prison or required inpatient treatment. One child did tell us last night that their father was dead. They are blessed by the love of family, despite the challenges they face. Each child was given a handmade quilt last night and many showed up to breakfast in their quilts. They talked about being truly blessed. I have so much to learn from them.

The disciples were upset that Jesus was blessing the children, but he was stern in his rebuke. The disciples had blessings to receive form the children, they just didn't know it. The children understood the goodness and presence of the living God and wanted to soak up all the blessings they could. We don't know their circumstances, but we can imagine they might be from outcast families. The disciples had many reasons to reject them, but God will never reject them and teaches us that they are the pathway to understanding and receiving God's love.

Today I ask God to help me be more childlike and to understand the magnitude of blessings I have received. May we make each moment count, and spread abroad the love of God. May we share the blankets of blessings with all we meet today.

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