Blessed… Welcoming a Nobody

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then he called a little child over to sit among the disciples, and said, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me (Matthew 18:1-5, Common English Bible).

As I was looking for the picture to go with today’s post, I felt myself being drawn, again and again to the picture of the little girl above. She is an anonymous child from some place pictured as part of a YouTube video for a song titled “Nobody’s Child.” I think the reason I kept coming back to this picture is, I could see Jesus calling her over to sit among the disciples.

As I read today’s lesson there are two interpretations that come to my mind. I will talk about one today and one tomorrow. The first idea that came to my mind was really driven by the line, “Those who humble themselves…” In Jesus’ day a child was quite simply the product of his/her father. There identity came far more often than not, from their father.

As a boy grew, he gained more and more of his own identity as he accomplished more. When he learned a trade, most often after apprenticing with his father, he became known by his trade. If he gained notoriety, good or bad, it enhanced his identity, also for good or bad.

For little girls nothing usually changed much. She gained her identity from her relationship with her father until she married. Once married her identity was tied to her relationship with her husband. It was only when she had children, particularly male children that she gained any self-identity. If she never produced that male child, she never really gained an identity of her own. When her husband passed away she went to the home of her eldest male child. And, once again, her identity was usually tied to her relationship with another man, this time, her son.

The idea that we become like a little child is, in and of itself, a humbling experience. When we become a child, we don’t know quite as much. Things are simpler. But for today, we lose our identity. We are humbled because we are no longer our own. We gain our identity from our relationship with God. That is, quite simply, things are no longer about us, they are about God. We humble ourselves before God. Everything is about God.

It is a humbling idea. If we are to have a relationship with God, it is a relationship where we are servants. It is a relationship where we trust. It is a relationship where we accept life in very simple terms.

How do you demonstrate your humility toward God?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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