From Reverend Pat Kriss: Be as a Child
(Posted September 22, 2018)
Last Sunday we grownups were all standing around during Coffee Hour as Pat and Jim’s and Heidi and Tom’s five grandchildren raced around from room to room. “Oh to be a kid, again,” one of us remarked, “with all that energy!” Afterward, I began to think. Is that all that I envy in our little kids – their energy level – or is there more?
Actually, I realize, there’s a LOT more. Other than the wonderful way that the abundant calories kids consume do not go directly to their hips, most of all I envy the way that children, especially children six or younger, are so fully open to other people, regardless of their age or their gender or race. It’s not that they don’t see difference. They do. (I remember when I was four years old, noticing the gentleman sitting next to me on the bus, and asking my mother out loud, “Why is that man all chocolate?” I don’t remember his reaction, but I do remember hers.)
Worship with Us
Services begin at 10 a.m. All are welcome.
In early childhood those differences don’t matter, aren’t weighted as being better or worse one way or another. One thing we do know is that children learn their prejudices, learn who’s in and who’s out, learn who’s powerful, by exposure to the adults around them. And if we as teachers and as spiritual leaders want to head off bullying and prejudice, we need to do so by the time children reach the third grade, when the negative things that we adults have modeled for children can harden into real prejudice, real ranking of people who are not as important as the next person.
This weekend’s Gospel from Mark has us eavesdropping on the embarrassing moment when some of Jesus’ disciples are discussing among themselves who is the greatest – and, it turns out, HE knows. He takes them aside, and calls to his side a small child. Jesus explains to them that they must be willing to welcome even a small child as an equal, and to see his own image in that child. These days, of course, we cherish our children. But in Jesus’ day, children were the least significant of God’s creations, wielding no power at all. This Sunday we’re going to be discovering ways to be like children, all over again, in this contemporary era.
Come join us! –Pastor Pat Kriss
Special prayers to a family from Central Christian Church who were involved in a terrible crash in Syracuse: Tara Gamble and son Lukas. Lukas is in critical condition and his father, Terence did not survive.