North Highland United Methodist Church
Monday, December 17, 2018
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

 

Jesus and the Children

 

Jesus and the Children

There has been a great deal in the news recently about children—and not what I would call good news. We may have various opinions about issues that chal-lenge us as a country, yet as followers of the ways of Jesus, and worshipers of a grace

-filled God, we should be greatly concerned about the situation of de-tained children and separated families occurring in our own country, under our watch. In a recent publication I read this understanding of family, written to come against any proclamation that scripture was allowing governments to do as they like, and subsequently claim divine sanction for those actions.

"Before there were tribes, nations, borders, political parties, and earthly laws, God created the family.

It is the preservation of the family, and particularly the protection of our children, that guarantees our flourishing and fruitfulness as a people. We remember that Jesus had words for the Romans as well, in his command to "Allow the children to come to me. Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children. (Matthew 19:14) It was an indictment of the way Roman culture had allowed the exploitation and dehumanization of children. Jesus was in no way interested in telling his follow-ers that the abuse of children was allowable as a divinely sanctioned policy."

It may also be wise to recall and heed the words of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel where he tells the nations what will be the deciding factor in judgement—in the 25th chapter that he tells us whatever we do (or don’t do) to those we consider to be the least, we also do to him. So how are we doing with that?

Additionally, the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is certainly not silent about treatment of the most vulnerable. Zechariah 7:9

-10: "Make just and faithful de-cisions; show kindness and compassion to each other! Don’t oppress the widow, the orphan, the stranger, and the poor; don’t plan evil against each other!"

Our current situation is likely seen as political in nature—and while telling peo-ple how to vote or opening campaigning is not in my purview, there are times we all must be encouraged to speak up when it means speaking for the vulnera-ble or oppressed. It is precisely what Jesus did—he continually challenged the Empire on the things that brought about undue pain or oppression. Perhaps he was in following the ancient words of Proverbs 31:8

-9: "Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable. Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor."

Children are not commodities or pawns to be used for political games or power. May God have mercy on us as we work to rectify a terrible injustice brought up-on children of God, and therefore children of ours.

In hope and peace,

 

Pastor Lou

 

 

 

 

July 2018