Looking ahead 

Imagine a World
The Narrative Lectionary text for Ash Wednesday – Mark 9:30-37, is a solid focus for our Lenten discovery. In this “passion prediction,” we are challenged to consider what Jesus is really doing. The direction that Jesus is heading is not the way we want to go. We want to be the best, the comfortable, the greatest that we can possibly be. The disciples don’t get it. The Holy Pages seem to whisper, “Do you get it?” Jesus uses the living illustration of a child, placing it among the disciples. In a protecting stance, he shows and says, “Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me isn’t actually welcoming me but rather the one who sent me.” Jesus illuminates the meaning of the vulnerable among us and around us. Those who have power in the Kingdom of God (in the here and now) are called to serve and care for the vulnerable. The child has the least status, power, and wealth of them all.
Imagine a world where we who follow Jesus on the Way taught the world this lesson. Let’s be honest, we need to learn this lesson well before we can teach it! What does it mean to truly welcome someone? Jesus is not talking about a simple “Hello. Welcome.” Jesus is pointing to a community atmosphere of positive acceptance and serving of the vulnerable. This means fighting against exploitation and ignoring or marginalizing. This means standing up against all forms of injustices. The Way of Jesus is not just words and it is definitely not double-talk. What would relationships look like if we appreciated and accepted each other’s vulnerabilities and helped each other? We are always so afraid of letting others see the real us inside. Jesus sees each of us and asks us to consider others in terms of welcoming.

In the Love of Christ Jesus,
Pastor Andrew Fitch