The disciples were always jockeying for position. They all wanted to be the first, the best, the closest to Jesus with a high position in the Kingdom. So we can imagine their surprise at the answer Jesus gave to the question in Matthew 18:1, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. 6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!
Jesus, Matthew 18:1-7, New International Version, accessed from BibleGateway.com
Children are a blessing from God and parenting is a sacred trust and a great responsibility. Jesus welcomed children.
We have seen throughout our study of the life and teachings of Jesus so far that it is not the rich and powerful who will be first in the Kingdom of God. It will be the meek, lowly, humble, peace-loving and childlike who have overcome the temptations of this world to become hardened, angry, greedy and violent who will lead the way into the kingdom of God.
Dig a Little Deeper:
What have you learned about the Kingdom from watching children”
Please take the time to watch this 5 minute video from Richard Rohr author of The Cosmic Christ.
For more information on Richard Rohr please visit the website for the Center for Action and Contemplation.
Dig a Little Deeper:
How would the Rebel Jesus respond
to our world culture and situations?
(Please respond to these questions with your reactions in the comments area of these posts. Everyone wants to know your thoughts about these challenges.
The world can be changed only if we follow our spiritual leaders, talk about it, and act upon it.
— Bob R.)
As November comes to a close please remember to choose joy. This is an important way we will overcome the darkness in our world.
Now for this little reminder from Terry Wilder.
Please respect everyone’s right to feel as they do about any holiday. Most likely there is a valid reason they feel that way, or that they celebrate the holidays they choose.
It is our tradition here at Espirational to post a fun video on Thanksgiving Eve. So please take a minute to stop your busy preparations, take a break and enjoy it. (Hey, everyone, this is really cool. Take about three minutes to view this.—Bob.)
…will clap their hands. Oh yes they will. Feel free to dance if you like.
Some of you may not know we have a sing/song writer following Espirational. When Bill Tonnis shared this beautiful song earlier in the month I decided it would be the perfect way to end our month on Stillness. May this be our prayer… slow me down.
I’m not sure it’s been decided what kind of storm it was but winds were in excess of 100 mph and trees fell. They fell on houses, cars, across roads, knocking out power and for a while and shutting off our water supply. It took three days just to clear the trees enough that the big trucks could come in to start working. We are fine. Even with all the damage no one in our community was injured or killed. Bob and I escaped damage for the most part. We tried to stay out of the way and took care of ourselves. Not having i-phones we were forced to go through tech withdrawal, but after the first day, it wasn’t so bad.
But there is a spiritual message in our storm experience. What I really want to talk about today is what we can do to grow deep roots so that when we are blown about by the winds and storms of life we will not fall. Just as it takes time for a tree to dig down deep into the soil it takes time to grow spiritual, emotional and physical roots. So what can we do to help those roots grow?
*Eat healthy, nutritious foods.
*Move. Get at least some form of moderate exercise every day. Walking is good.
*Get adequate sleep.
*Take time to rest. Pushing our bodies and brains beyond their limits sooner or later will result in exhaustion and illness.
*Learn to take control of our thoughts. It’s not what happens to us, but how we think and react to what happens that counts.
*Determining personal beliefs and values will help us live in balance with our true nature. It will also help us determine our priorities, which is very important in learning how to use the resources of our physical bodies.
*Spiritual practice is very important. Learning and putting into practice the spiritual lessons of the Sacred texts, taught by the great teachers and avatars show us how to live in this world.
I have been sitting with these ideas since the storm, waiting for the right time to share them. Finally, I realized that the month that we are focusing on being still is a perfect time.
If we do not take care of our physical bodies we will pay with poor health. The same thing applies to our emotional and spiritual being. Quieting our bodies and minds is an essential part of this. It is not a luxury. It is not laziness. It is not something we can leave out of our day to make more time for work and other activities.
We have to stop saying, “I just don’t have time.” We manage to make time for something we really want to do, don’t we? So, do you want to be strong, healthy, intelligent, spiritual and well-rooted in life?
I know sitting in silence can be uncomfortable. In the beginning, the mind races, thinking about the other things we “should” be doing. But eventually, we come to a place of stillness and peace where we realize there is nothing more important than this present moment.
This is what we were created for… to realize our oneness with the Creator and all of creation. When we forget that fact that life starts to fall apart and those “trees” in our lives start to topple over. Take the time to make the effort to grow those deep roots so you can stand in spite of the storms.