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I had the wonderful privilege the other week of holding a new grandson for the first time.
Isn’t it amazing how a new-born infant can grab hold of your heart? I was filled with so much love and pride and I prayed that his life would be blessed.
It so happened that the Gospel reading set for the Sunday after I met my grandson was, in part at least, about a little child.
Mark tells us Jesus was walking ahead of his disciples on the way to Capernaum. When they got there Jesus asked them: ‘What were you arguing about along the way?’
They couldn’t answer, for they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. They were silent, because they’d been caught out.
Then Jesus took a little child in his arms and said to them: ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’
Greatness, Jesus was saying to them, is found in welcoming and receiving into our arms someone vulnerable, powerless and dependent, regardless of age.
Greatness is found not in what we have accomplished but in what we have done and given to ‘the least of these’, the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, and imprisoned: the symbolic children in each of our lives.
Greatness never makes itself superior over another. It is not about me, my job, my reputation, my status. Our greatness is revealed in our service and care of others.
Max is doing well, by the way, and I can hardly wait to see him again.
God bless you and yours, from biggest to littlest, today and always.
Reverend William Crossan, Lorne and Lowland Parish Church, Campbeltown.