Thursday, September 25, 2014
An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.” Luke 9:46-48 NRSV
My cousin called me it. As a newborn I wasn’t that offended but, as the story goes, my aunt tried correcting him. My cousin protested, “Until it has teeth, I’m calling it an it.”
These words in scripture that refer to a child as it are awkward to our ears: “Jesus … put it by his side.” However, that is how culture of the day viewed children. Children were treated as non-persons. They were at the bottom of the pecking order. Jesus tells the disciples to put themselves in the place of society’s most vulnerable. Still, this child has a place close to Jesus’ side.
God’s care for children must be expressed to the world by becoming vulnerable on their behalf. God’s care for children must be expressed to each child by the way we tenderly hold them to our side.
Lord, give us the courage to stand in the gap, making ourselves vulnerable on behalf of children. May we speak out and stand up for all your children. May we call them by name and hold them close to our side.
Rev. Lee Yates
Minister of Faith Formation
Christian Church in Indiana (Disciples of Christ)