Lord Jesus Christ,
You call us to come
To be with you,
And to learn trust, faith.
By your Spirit help me
To see you,
To hear your voice in the midst of trouble.
Help me to follow you in all of life,
To walk in the joy and freedom of the resurrection,
Indwelt and led by your Pentecost Spirit.
Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Week 22 in Ordinary Time
We are drawn into a different kind of space as we enter the narrative in Mark 10 this week: the painful gap of rejection. Rejection hovers within the painful decision to end a marriage: when one or both persons make it known that they can no longer stay within the marriage relationship. Rejection also shapes the attitude of the disciples as they refuse to allow persons to bring little children to Jesus for his touch and blessing.
Jesus looks back to the beginning of creation – when there was no gap. When there was harmony, connectedness, relationship, fruitfulness, wonder, and all was good. When the lie made its way into the thinking of the woman – and the man – and twisted their deepest desires into distortion and mistrust, the gap of distrust and rejection took up residence within and between them, between them and God, and between them and creation. All of life and existence suffered as the death of separation and rejection tore the fabric of God’s creation.
Hence our hardness of heart, our inability to see clearly, our paralysis when we are fearful, hurt, lonely. It is into our limited and distorted lives that permission is given for divorce, separation. And it is within our limited and distorted ways of living that children also suffer.
It is into this angry space that Jesus speaks: first to the disciples. Angry that they would speak such words of refusal, he orders them to allow the little children to come; and not to stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. “Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”
Then, he turns to the children, opens his arms wide and receives them one by one, lifting each little one up in his warm embrace, laying his hands on them, and blessing them.
In this warm embrace and blessing the deathly damage of Eden is reversed, and life and love flow. The deepest connection of body, mind, and soul is mended – and the kingdom of God is known among us.
Allow yourself to be received as a little child by Jesus. Come with all that hurts, all that you reject within yourself, or reject in others, and be received in his embrace. Be blessed.
Prayer before reading:
Lord Jesus Christ,
You come to us
In the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Help me to be aware of how you come,
To be hospitable to your help,
To your patient work of helping me hear
With the ears of my heart.
Lead me in your Way.
Season of Pentecost: Week 22 (in ordinary time)
- 10/1 Monday: Mark 10:2-12
- 10/2 Tuesday: Mark 10:13-16
- 10/3 Wednesday: Psalm 26
- 10/4 Thursday: Job 1:1, 2:1-10
- 10/5 Friday: Hebrews 1:104, 2:5-12
- 10/6 Saturday: Mark 10:2-12
- 10/7 Sunday: Mark 10:13-16