From the Well - 9/20/2018

Cranach’s  “Let the Little Children Come”

Cranach’s “Let the Little Children Come”

Mark 9:30-37 (NRSV)

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again." 32 But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. 33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?" 34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." 36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37 "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."

Among the manuscripts on Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno's desk when he died in 1936 was this poem:

Widen the door, Father,

For I cannot enter.

You made it for children,

And I have grown up.

If you do not widen the door,

Have pity and make me smaller.

Take me back to that age

In which to live was to dream.

Children have the capacity to love, trust, to be curious, open, playful, accepting, and vulnerable. We adults lose that capacity as we grow up and begin to pursue worldly greatness.

Jesus serves the lowly and exalts the humble. Jesus receives children. More than that, He says, "If you receive a child, you receive me." Jesus, in essence says the same thing at the end of His ministry as recorded in Matthew's Gospel. On their last day with Jesus, the disciples ask, "Lord, when did we see you hungry, naked, and in prison?" and Jesus said, "When you did it unto the least of these (The little ones. The children) you did it to me." "I am the least, the last, the little, the lowly, the child," (Matthew 25:31-46) He said. This was not the Messiah the disciples were expecting. But God thinks differently than the world, differently than most of us. Think about it.