Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 28: Year 1
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18: 1 to 4)
Before our Lord Jesus answers the question about who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, he first answers the most important question that should have been asked; namely, how does one even gain entrance into the kingdom of heaven?
To answer this he places a trusting child in their midst. The child is a living symbol of dependence on the adults. The child needs the parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents and all the elders to be loving and trusted protectors and providers. This is who God is for us.
Then, Jesus answers the original question. The humblest is the greatest, both here and in the kingdom of heaven. Therefore my beloved of the Lord, we need to start our humility training now. I would rather be last to get into the kingdom of heaven and be the least of those there, than left outside only accompanied by my arrogance in the great void.
We are children of God. We trust in the love, provision, protection, and finally, the calling of God into the kingdom of heaven. Thank You Lord Jesus.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John