Scripture: Mark 10:1–16
Key verses: (13-16) 13 People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 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. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
Reflection: If you have children at home, you may be ready to be a lot less social and a little more distant. In my house, we have teenagers but they have decided every night is a themed party. With costumes. Parents with small children are wondering where the naps went in the middle of the day. Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom has become a song. Sometimes our children drive us nuts.
When we hear this story of Jesus and the little children today, we jump right to the assumption that the disciples were annoyed. We see an irritated disciple rolling their eyes because a child is running through the crowd chasing another and distracting everyone.
This probably wasn’t the case. Children just didn’t matter. They were not the center of everyone’s world and Jesus had more important things to do. The disciples were trying to be efficient but as always, Jesus turns things upside down. The kingdom of God is always about listening and loving the least among us. Jesus has been saying this throughout his whole ministry, but the disciples never seem to hear him. Maybe the disciples also reinterpreted Jesus words through the lens of their own personal experiences.
God’s kingdom is about loving all of God’s children. This week that might mean listening and loving the children in your home or those living in tents outside Urban Ministry Center. We need to be reminded again and again that God does not favor the powerful, wealthy or those with some wrinkles on their face. We are called to reject these things and reach out in love to the least and the lost.
Prayer: God, we are being stretched in these days in so many ways. Stretch our hearts to love deeply. 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].