Read: Luke 18:15–17

But Jesus called for the children and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” Luke 18:16

There are so many debates about who is acceptable to God. Attempts at religious exclusion have been ongoing throughout human history. In-groups and out-groups litter the religious landscape of our world. Even Jesus’ first disciples had their own sense of who was worthy and unworthy to enter into Jesus’ presence. For those disciples, children were unwelcome. Children had no status in first century Palestine. Children were not to be heard, and preferably, not seen either!

The Bible tells us that Jesus was indignant, and He instructed his disciples to allow the little children into His presence. Everyone was welcomed by Jesus. The only thing a person needed to approach Jesus was the will to do so. With Jesus, there are no outsiders, there are no untouchables – there are no exclusions whatsoever. If you want to meet Jesus, you are more than welcome!

Do you exclude people?

Lord, I wouldnt want to be told I wasnt allowed to approach You, even though I am more than willing to erect and maintain barriers that keep people I dislike at a distance. Somehow, I really do think I am empowered to decide who is and who is not worthy of my time and attention. In fact, given the opportunity, I would certainly voice my opinions about who is worthy and unworthy of Your time and attention. Please remind me that those are not judgments I am called to make. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is worthy of time and attention. Everyone is a recipient of Your love and grace – even me. In thanksgiving I pray, in Your name. AMEN.