Sermon: “Children and The Kingdom of God” June 12, 2016
Scriptures: Mark 1: 1-11/Mark 10: 13-16/ Luke18: 15-17
In church today we had the baptism of a beautiful baby boy. You could feel the love in the church: from the baby, content in the Pastor’s arms, at peace during the sprinkling, gazing back at the congregation during the traditional walk-around in our church-in-the-round; and from the church family smiling, leaning forward and making loving sounds. This baby-family isn’t a regular member of the congregation; so the love wasn’t there out of familiarity, it was just there.
The baby instinctively felt the acceptance and caring the church family had for him and in return we could feel the love and acceptance from him. The congregation was recognizing that EVERY child is a child of God and should be loved and cared for. This is easy to do when it is an innocent adorable baby like we had in church today, but can be much harder when dealing with adults, especially when they are strangers.
Prejudices and separation are behaviors that are taught. Sometimes we learn them from the adults in our life and sometimes we learn them from unpleasant experiences as we move through life. It is so disheartening to think how much hate there is in this world. Sometimes it feels like there is more hate than love. Why is it this way?
I am stunned that we have a candidate for president who seemingly hates anyone who isn’t a rich white man who agrees with everything he says. How can someone like this actually get enough support from the American people to win the nomination? This overwhelms me.
When there are mass shootings like what happened in Orlando Florida overnight my heart breaks. Why? And what can be done about it? (I believe that we should have better and more stringent background checks when purchasing firearms and that there is no reason any non-military person should possess an assault rifle, but that’s not what I mean.) What must have happened in this man’s life to make him commit such a horrible act? Some say because he was Muslim, but the Muslim religion actually is loving like Christianity. Yes radicals of any religion can become hateful, but we should not judge an entire religion by what extremists do and say. There are violent and hateful persons who call themselves Christians. Obviously this man had no love. It is so hard to keep your heart open to all people and stay open minded about people who seem different from us, but surely we should all strive to do this.
God clearly says we are all one family no matter how we try to separate ourselves. This week try to see someone new as a child of God and not anything else, for they are your brother or sister.