“Let the children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” Mark 10:14
Jesus treated everyone with respect and honored who they were as human beings. It didn’t matter if they were men, women, children, elderly, sick, temple leaders, disciples, or whatever. In his culture, women, children, and other outcasts of society were ignored and considered property or useless. When Jesus showed his love for them and acceptance of them, he went against the accepted social standard as well as the culture of his day.
This coming Sunday is children’s Sunday for many of us, and we will celebrate our Sunday schools, our graduates, and our teachers. We will lift up our ministry to children in the manner of Jesus who blessed them and gave them worth. In our society today, many children are treated with value and love, but there are still those who are abused, beaten, and seen as useless. There are women who are seen as things to possess rather than as persons with something to offer, and there are elderly and sick folks who are ignored, abandoned, and considered a nusance.
As we celebrate our children, as we see the face of Christ on them, as we lift up our hope in them and our hope FOR them, may we also not bury our heads in the sand. May we see others who need to have a blessing, who need to know they are loved, who need to find hope, and whom we don’t ignore or turn away because they don’t “fit.” May we, like Jesus, stand firm in the face of public opinion to be willing to touch, help, and speak up for our disenfranchised population. Amen.