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“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.”
A Warm Welcome?
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There are two ways to read this Gospel text from Mark, either that we should have faith like a child – or that we should welcome others like we welcome children.
Neither are easy.
Child-like faith doesn’t always mean what we think it does. In fact, when we think of child-like faith, we often think of blind acceptance and simple trust. When in reality, kids ask more questions, more often than adults. But we like this reading of Mark’s Gospel, because it’s so much easier to stomach than asking ourselves how we welcome children.
And even tougher, Jesus asks us to welcome “such as these.” Those like children.
Those with similar status as children in that time – no voice, no say, no place. And even more difficult – we’re asked to not just welcome them but love them. To make room for them in our congregations and communities and lives.
WHEW. That is a big task. But we are reminded over and over again that we love because God first loved us. We can make room for people because God always makes room for us.
We can go out into the dark corners and the outside places and find those who need care and compassion because that is what God has done for us.
So we take our child-like, question-asking faith out into the world to bring the Kingdom of God to others – just as it has been brought to us.
Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. What questions do you have about God and the world around us? Where can (or do you) go for answers?
2. Who are the people that are “such as these” that Jesus is talking about today? Who in the world around you has no voice, has no status, and is outcast?
3. How can you go out and be with and lift up those from your above list?
This week, keep your eyes open for those on the outside in need of your voice.