Scripture: Matthew 18:1-14
Key verses: (1-5) At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Reflection: There are very few times when we get to see Jesus angry. This is one of them. Jesus is angry that the disciples are keeping the children from coming to him. The first third of our lives is a critical time of faith formation. Jesus knows that but do we? Yes, maybe these little children have brains that are still developing but we are not asking them to exegete the parabolic metaphors. Jesus welcomes the children, loves them and lets them know they belong.
Jesus commands the disciples to let the children come to him. The command was not to step aside and take a break while someone else deals with the children. Jesus call was to join in the work of welcoming and helping the children to claim their identity as one who belongs to Jesus. We all know how important it is to feel like we belong. Let’s join this valuable work of welcoming the children. Creating space for them as they make their way to Jesus. Let us help them claim their identity as a child of God and a follower of Jesus Christ. May the church be a place where everyone feels like they belong.
Prayer: Lists, chores, expectations and plans all get in our way God. They get in the way of us following Jesus. Help us break it down to the most basic of needs, belonging. Remind US that we belong. To you and each other. Give me moments to just sit with this good news today. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].