Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Psalm 136:10-26 & Luke 9:37-48.

Luke 9:48 Then Jesus said to them,“Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” (NIV)

I find post-modern life very confusing at times, which causes me to struggle with my faith. For instance, I constantly read about two conflicting sides on both the abortion and immigration issues facing our nation today. One side vehemently opposes abortion, especially the recent trimester laws, and yet has no problem incarcerating children who happen to be illegal immigrants. On the other side, you have folks who strongly advocate on behalf of the rights of those children, but have no issue with a woman choosing to kill a child immediately after birth. Both sides are very strong about their condemnations of one another which creates both a divide and a conflict that causes a lot of damage to all of our people. I personally struggle with this, so when I read Christ’s words today, it leaves me wondering what He would advocate for and stand against?

In Christ’s time, the life of a child was not worth a lot. Parents had the right to abandon or even kill their children if they did not live up to their standards or show respect. This is why Jesus placed a child in the midst of His disciples to teach them about God’s Kingdom. According to Christ, children were meant to be welcomed and embraced, for in God’s eyes, they were the greatest beings in the whole community. For me, this means that a foreign child or a just-born child are supposed to be welcomed, reassured, and kept safe. To do otherwise is to ignore Christ’s teaching which means we have a responsibility of creating a society where all children are welcomed, supported, and empowered, no matter where they came from, nor how soon they have appeared. To do this will require agreements on both sides to support immigrants and young mothers economically, educationally, and socially. Tragically, we may not have the political will to get us this done, but spiritually we should be following what Christ has advocated: “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”

Point to ponder: Do I struggle with my faith in current times? How can Christ help me?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, living in these times of conflict and division can be detrimental to our faith. We are wounded by political strife and wonder how spirits will survive. Help us in the midst of all that troubles us and guide by Your words of love and grace. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s Christmas drawings called “Star Messiah.” If you would like to view a larger version, click here.