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Sunday, November 17, 2013
Today’s Reading | Matthew 18:1–5
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.” (NRSV)
I spent a year in Daejeon, South Korea, after graduating college. I was very excited to be a young adult, venturing off on my own to experience the world. What I found was that I was soon humbled by the fact that I could not manage simple tasks such as going to the grocery store on my own. Talk about humbling experiences.
When I arrived in Korea, I did not speak a word of Korean. I think it took me about a week to learn how to say hello. Therefore I was completely dependent on the charity of the people around me to help me navigate this new world. I felt like a young child, stifled by lack of vocabulary to express my needs. I was ecstatic to finally be able to navigate the city bus on my own and order for myself at a restaurant.
How often we fight to be independent and self-sufficient. It starts at a young age, when the three- year-old at the supermarket stubbornly tells her mother that she is going to do it “all by myself!” But here Jesus tells us to be humble, like a lowly child, dependent on God to fulfill our needs, to rebuke our society’s ideals of success being a measure of status.
Lord I pray to be six again . . . to be excited by freshly fallen snow, or the changing of the leaves. Return me to the unconditional lover, before fear and prejudice. Give me the strength to share my weakness with others, to laugh when I am happy and cry when I am sad. Lord, make me your child. Amen.
Written by Katie Patterson, Junior High Youth and Mission Coordinator
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