Daily Devotion For Wednesday March 08, 2017

Matthew 18:10-14

March 8, 2017

Matthew 18:10-14

When Christ’s disciples approached him with the question, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,” the response was, “Whoever humbles himself like this child.” (Matt. 18:1-4) Later in chapter 18, Christ spoke to his disciples saying, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 18:10) Then Jesus went on to applaud the actions of a sheep owner who leaves his ninety-nine animals in order to search for the one that has wandered from the flock.

As is often the case when Jesus spoke to his followers, he responded to a narrow question with an expansive answer that opened a wider door of possibilities. In this case, Jesus answered the initial question of who is the greatest in the kingdom by citing little children as the greatest because of their innocent acceptance of faith. But then he expands the answer through the story of the one lost sheep to teach that children are treasured in the kingdom, that they are to be sought out, and that their presence within the group is to be celebrated. For Jesus, the children were not only a convenient example; they were integral members of his kingdom.

Are children and youth of all ages welcomed at Grace? Are they treasured constituents and participants in worship? Do we seek them out, engage them in conversations, nurture them, celebrate their accomplishments, support them, teach them, invite them in, and assure them that they have a place within the faith community? Jesus wants them not only to be placed in our midst, but he wants them to be the object of our attention, the ones we seek out, and the ones that teach us of the marvel of faith.

God of the weak, help us open our hearts to all. Help us embrace, guide, encourage, support, and celebrate all in this community of faith.
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