Monday, March 4, 2013

The Childlike Kingdom

Matthew18:1-9  At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes! "If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.

 The disciples of Jesus had heard him teach about “the kingdom of heaven” (the reign of God) since they had first started following him. They knew that his ideas on “kingdom” were different from the authority they had experienced at the hands of the Roman Empire, or at the hands of King Herod. So they seize the moment and ask him – "tell us how power works in God’s new creation".

“Well”, says Jesus, “it is quite simple. This is not a dream of status and dignity and importance. It is a dream about curiosity and playfulness and humility”. And then Jesus adds a warning – “Watch out that we, the professionally religious, do not get in the way of those who experience God from the margins / the underside / the little places of life”.      

So let us remove all those things that prevent us from reckless religious revival.

I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You're so self satisfied I don't need you
I've got to break free
God knows, God knows I want to break free



The Last Sunday after Epiphany
Listen to Jesus Christ
Scripture reading taken from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants p.100


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