One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that He would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: "Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to Me. God’s Kingdom is made up of people like these." After laying hands on them, He left. (Matthew 19:13-15, The Message)
This morning I sat in the sanctuary at Faith United Methodist Church in Superior and watched the sun rise through a stained-glass window depicting Jesus holding small children. As the light began to spread across the window, it seemed to burst forth with life. In the silence, stillness, and darkness of the early morning, the light invited me, in this moment, in this place, to come to Jesus as a little child.
I find that the older I get, the harder it is for me to remember how to embrace all that is offered to me as a child. As adults, we are not supposed to shout with joy (except at sporting events), laugh with abandonment, or giggle with anticipation. We need to be guarded, calculated, and suspicious.
This moment with Jesus holding the children and inviting others is what I need right now. I need to be held by God, comforted during these times of tremendous grief and mourning. I embrace this moment of connection and recognize the light that is shining through Jesus, the light-bearer, Who gives me hope, purpose, laughter, and love. It is a “Jesus-inspired” moment – to come and sing, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so, little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. Yes, Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so" (Anna Bartlett Warner). Amen.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.