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The Little Prince, Children and Receiving the Kingdom of God (Mark 10:13-16)

This is the message I gave at Camas Friends Church, June 24, 2012.

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“People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13–16 NRSV)

Questions:

  • What is hard for you to grasp about what Jesus says here?
  • What is easy for you to grasp what Jesus says here?
  • How do you think those around him would have responded when he said this?
  • What do you think he meant by “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it?”
  • Why do you think children hold such high esteem in Jesus understanding of spirituality?
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Hello/Goodbye: On Coming, Going and Our Testimonies

This is the message I brought to worship on May 13, 2012.

If we take human testimony at face value, how much more should we be reassured when God gives testimony as he does here, testifying concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God inwardly confirms God’s testimony. Whoever refuses to believe in effect calls God a liar, refusing to believe God’s own testimony regarding his Son. This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son. So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life. (1 John 5:9–13 MSG)

This week not only have I been thinking about the passage of Scripture we all have been reflecting on, but I’ve been thinking, very deeply — as only one could do — about this Beatles song — Hello/Goodbye.

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Rodney King & The Images of (In)justice

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We just learned today that Rodney King was found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool on father’s day. King, who himself was a father, is a tragic figure in the landscape of recent American culture. He struggled with addiction, never fully healed from the beatings he received that fateful day, and wrestled with what it meant to be thrust into such a public role that he had not planned or desired.

As the NY Times reports:

“People look at me like I should have been like Malcolm X or Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks,” he told The Los Angeles Times in April. “I should have seen life like that and stay out of trouble, and don’t do this and don’t do that. But it’s hard to live up to some people’s expectations.”

And yet, he is remembered for forcing America to finally SEE the brutality that the black community had been living with for generations.