Strong spirits: greatest?


Photo: Community Playthings, Bruderhof

Just last week, two little girls at our small church met for the first time. They played non-stop together when worship was over, and when it was time to go home, they hugged and hugged like they'd been best friends for years.

This, I think, is something of what Jesus had in mind when he said we must become like children: open, trusting, adventurous, caring, fun-loving, risk-taking. We'd call that childlike because we like it. I know there are other aspects of children that are not so positive, especially in adults: whiney, selfish, pouty. We'd call that childish because it's "ishy."

Once Jesus' disciples had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. He stood a child in the middle of them and said, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me!" (Mark 9:37). He also said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." (Mark 9:35)

Want to be great? Want to be a leader? Want to have influence for good? Be the least. Be like a child.


Gary Schwerin serves as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church. He is also the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear here every Sunday - subscribe to our daily email so you don't miss any.

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