Saturday, August 12, 2017

Welcome One Such Child

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.” Mark 9:30-41 

The history of this country and Canada as well, includes the real attempt to "kill the Indian, save the child." Small children were shipped off to boarding and residential schools, taught to be like "normal people " and often worked very hard in fields, shops and industry. The stories folks tell of this schooling is heartbreaking. The church and the government did not welcome the children but worked overtime to fix them. So many died of heartbreak, loneliness and disease. The one who lived are often broken by their experience.

Jesus was trying to help his disciples understand humility and compassion. They had been arguing about who was most superior in their group. They were behaving like children. Jesus chose a little child, held him close and invited his disciples to do likewise. To embrace and not fix, to welcome and not judge is the way of following Jesus.

Today, I ask God to help me have a humble and welcoming heart in all that I do. May we not try to fix people, but rather hold them close, make them welcome and give them what they need to survive.

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