Luke 9:46-48Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him, And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.”

While reading my Bible tonight, this verse jumped off the page and smacked me right in the forehead. Not literally, of course, but that’s one of the best things about reading through the Bible. New things are constantly reveled, and the ancient words become more and more relevant to my life.

Mark 10:13-15 “And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”

Some of you may have read before about a young man in my church with Down’s syndrome. Like many “Down’s kids”, his body is aging at an accelerated rate. He is already forced to walk with a cane and suffers the aches and pains of one much older. M is 24 years old and married to a young woman who also has Down’s. They have two children together that the state will not allow them raise. And though M understands that he is a grown man and tries to act like one, he is in many ways very child-like.

His favorite song is Jesus Loves Me, and when we sing it as a congregational it brings peals of delighted laughter from him. He wrote his own song and sang it, solo, as a special. It was quite beautiful in it’s way, his testimony in song. A few months ago he thanked the people of our church for their love and support, and told us he wanted to find a job, so he could help take care of his wife, children, and church. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, certainly not mine. And this past Saturday M rode his lawnmower (his basic transportation around town) in the Cruisin’ Days Parade, right behind the church float. He was so proud and happy to be included, and he did very well, only hitting the float a couple of times, never hard enough to damage him or it.

It was M I thought of after reading that passage tonight, his simple, child-like love for Jesus Christ, and his completely trusting faith. I’m not sure we could consider him “he that is least among you all”, but I know most of the town does.

How awesome that this one, who is slow of speech and cannot even begin to understand many of the concepts of the Bible, will be one of the greatest in heaven!

Matthew 10:40-42 “He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.”

We are sometimes tempted to think of ourselves as special, because we accepted M and his wife into our little congregation, but that would be wrong. We are blessed to have them, and we would do well to remember it. There is much about faith and unconditional love and acceptance he has to teach us. In return it is up to us, as the body of Christ, to reach out and enfold him in the arms of the Father’s eternal love and grace. We have been given a great opportunity. I hope we’re up to it.

 

Advertisements