Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Week of: September 23, 2018
Scripture: Mark 9:30-37
Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.
(Mark 9:37, NRSV)
The disciples had been fighting over who was the greatest and failed to understand Jesus' embodiment of a humble servant. So Jesus took a child, because children were vulnerable in his society, to demonstrate to his disciples that we are called to care for the marginalized among us — the immigrant, destitute, sick, and those rejected and despised.
When I've served persons who are marginalized by society, I've been so blessed by them. I worked with a Sudanese congregation that met in the church where I pastored. They worshipped in Arabic in a separate service from the English-speaking services, and sometimes invited me to preach. They translated for one another and witnessed how their deep faith got them through horrors of war, troubles in refugee camps, and the difficulties and dangers they face now as immigrants in this country. I can recall asking the youth, "How big is God?" and "Marcus" said, "It depends on how close you are to God."
How has your life been blessed by reaching out to the vulnerable in your worship ministries or as a leader in the church? Are there ways that God is nudging you to care for and "re-present" persons who are marginalized — perhaps through music, images, or art from a global perspective in worship?
Almighty God, guide our steps. Help us hear how you are calling us to serve in Jesus' name. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Theresa Mason
Director, Earthen Pot Ministries
St. Paul, MN
Photo: The Younger Elementary Choir sings during a Thursday afternoon concert at Music & Worship Arts Week 2018. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)