What to write about today? Should I write about the silliness revolving around 10-10-10? You know, I actually got an email that a few seemed to have gotten caught up in:
Look at your calendars and be amazed. This Sunday will be 10/10/10. That won’t happen again for at least 100 years. Also, this October has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays, all in one month. It happens once in 823 years.
Well, actually it occurred in 2004 and 1999. Some suggest it happens approximately every 11 years, but I don’t feel like doing the math. At any rate, it is not nearly as rare as the email would suggest. At least, some, including a few in UCG, are using the date to promote awareness of the Ten Commandments instead.
What of UCG’s “Update on Letter from Chairman and President”? Well, that is worth commenting on, as I am in favor of not making hasty decisions. However, it would hardly take an entire article to state that it is an encouraging sign that they aren’t trying to rush into making any hasty decisions.
No, none of these things are on my front burner today.
Rather, I’m still going over yesterday’s Blessing of the Little Children ceremony in my mind.
At one time, RCG/WCG did the Blessing of the Little Children ceremony during the Feast of Tabernacles, a time when most members would be gathered together. It was done this way because many still did not have local congregations, and therefore meeting together regularly was often a challenge at best. However, as the church grew, the ceremony took longer and longer. In addition, since the church was growing, there were more and more local congregations. So, eventually it became the custom to hold the ceremony on the second Sabbath after the Feast in the local congregations.
I am repeating this history because some small COG groups reverted back to holding the ceremony during the Feast for similar reasons, and so not everyone would have had this ceremony yesterday.
The ceremony follows the example of Jesus in the gospel accounts when He blessed the little children who were brought to Him. In each record, Jesus effectively stated you must become like a little child to enter the Kingdom of God. However, that isn’t the only time He used a little child as an example. Matthew actually records an earlier incident.
1At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven
2And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
6But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
7Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
8Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
9And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
10Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
Yes, I intentionally quoted the entire passage. It starts out with an argument about who is “the greatest”, who is the biggest, who is in charge. Where does it lead? To a discussion on offenses.
Think about that.
Jesus came to be a servant. He came to lay down His life for you and me. He doesn’t force anyone to come to Him. He doesn’t force anyone to obey Him. He simply offers a gift.
Sure, He will come again with a rod of iron, but that’s because people will have gotten so crazy that they are on the verge of exterminating themselves and everyone else around them. For now, though, He simply invites others to join Him.
Jesus could have legitimately grabbed power the first time He was on the earth. After all, Who created the earth to begin with? Who does the earth belong to?
Think about that.
Jesus gave this lesson to all His disciples. That would have included the Twelve.
Think about that too.
Jesus constantly pointed to the Father. Jesus came to do the Father’s will. Jesus told the Father, “Thy will be done.”
Little children want to be like Dad. Little children imitate their father. Jesus pointed to His Father. Jesus was our example.
Jesus did not come to grab power. He did not call down legions of angels to fight when He was taken. He did not call His servants to fight and told Pilate as much. Jesus came to serve. Jesus came to give His life. Jesus came to do His Father’s will, not His own.
Being humble goes against our nature, but following someone who is humble also goes against our nature. Down through time, people have exalted themselves, given themselves titles, named dates and even entire months after themselves, called themselves “king”, “prophet”, “apostle”, “pope”, etc., and people have willingly followed them. In mankind’s history, people have willingly followed a man who exhibited strong leadership skills, lorded it over them and made inflexible rules to follow.
Why? I am not entirely sure, but it seems that we admire someone with the confidence and courage to do so. Perhaps it is envy. Perhaps we tend to follow people like that because we want to be like them. Perhaps we are looking for the traits we can grab onto in our own little sphere of influence.
Perhaps we are looking for the wrong traits in the wrong places.
Perhaps we should be looking to the example of our Big Brother Who came to do the Father’s will instead. Perhaps we should be incorporating the traits of Dad.