Posé: A pause or rest stop along the Voyageurs' portage trail. Usually about ½ mile apart. We invite you to take a pause in your day to reflect and pray with us.
An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, 48 and said to them, "Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest." - Luke 9:46-48, NRSV
High ranking political officials kissing babies is a cliché by now. Voters liked to see these great leaders humble themselves to show affection for the most vulnerable and helpless members of society - babies. It was a political gold mine first proposed by Jesus. In the passage above, Jesus' disciples want to know which one of them was Jesus' favorite. They measured greatness just as their culture of the day measured greatest - in terms of power, influence and honor. Jesus, on the other hand, pulls aside a child and says that the person who welcomes this child in his name is the greatest. In Jesus' time, children were not doted on at all as they are in our society today; they were another mouth to feed and sometimes seen as silly when they would want to play and not work.
Children were seen as the "least" or not having much value in Jesus' day, but Jesus flips this understanding to teach the disciples what the kingdom of God is all about - the least is the greatest and the greatest is the least. Strange. Basically, Jesus is trying to teach that the roles and honorary titles we create in our society to elevate people - through education, politics, marrying into certain families, hanging out with certain people, taking on a certain job - do not make us greater to God. Jesus says we become great when we show love and acceptance and welcome to the least. That idea was countercultural in Jesus time and it's still countercultural today. We love to be bright shiny stars for all to see...it's much harder to love people who aren't popular or culturally "worthwhile". Who do you see as the "least" in your life? Why is that?
Gracious God, open my heart to see that you have created and love all people. Help me to see others as you see them and to welcome everyone in your name. Amen.
Faithful travels everyone,
Pastor Lisa Buchanan
Bethany Lutheran Church in Deer River
VLM Camp Pastor 2010-2011