A kingdom that welcomes all

Daily reading: Luke 18:15-17
Saturday August 27, 2016

Focus passage: I assure you that whoever doesn’t welcome God’s kingdom like a child will never enter it. Luke 18:17

I believe the quintessential illustration, or parable if you will, of this kingdom comes at time when Jesus is schooling his disciples. 

Parents are bringing their babies to Jesus; their squirmy, noisy, messy babies to him so he could bless them. 

Now, I know we throw the word ‘blessing’ around a lot and we often confuse it with being lucky.  A theological grounded definition of blessing is acknowledgment of God’s presence in your life No Matter What.  Jesus blesses the poor and the outcast in word and deed and now it is time for those young parents and their babies and what do the disciples do?

They scold the parents and tell them that what we are about is adult business, we don’t have time to hear your babies, or see your babies, or deal with the messy squirminess of your babies, because, frankly, I can’t hear Jesus over the cries of your babies.  Send them away, put them out of sight and out of mind until they can learn to act and be like us.

And Jesus says “All the children to come to me.  Don’t forbid them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people like these children.  I assure you that whoever doesn’t welcome God’s kingdom like a child will never enter it.”

Jesus brings the children in so that the disciples could experience the kingdom of God.  The children are not a distraction; they are in essence a reminder of the unsettling, countercultural nature of God’s kingdom that is already and not yet.

In actively blessing the children, Jesus continues the process of initiating the disciples into the kingdom.
It is kindness, compassion and patience.
It is love, generosity, grace, mercy and forgiveness.

It is a place and a state of mind where ultimately we are challenged to recognize the things that we have to let go of in order to more fully claim our citizenship.

It is an invitation to enter into the divine dance that both comforts and challenges us to experience the presence of our sacred holy God in this already and not yet place of faithfulness.

Prayer: God help me to experience your kingdom today, in my words and my actions guide me.  Amen.


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