People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)
This week we celebrate the Children’s Sabbath as a way of honoring the presence of children in our congregations. The Children’s Sabbath was established in 1992 by the Children’s Defense Fund as a way to educate people about the urgent needs of our country’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens and as a way to celebrate the gift of children in our lives.
Our story creates quite a dilemma for the disciples and quite a teaching moment for Jesus. He is in the middle of teaching a crowd of people when a group of parents bring their children forward for a blessing. It was customary in Jewish society for the rabbi to bless a young child as a way of accepting the child into society. Jesus’ actions – they are the official actions of a rabbinical blessing. But this blessing almost didn’t happen because of Jesus’ “helpers”—His disciples.
Jesus is not just annoyed; he’s indignant. He recognizes an injustice has been done, a power play has been perpetrated against the powerless. And he turns the disciples’ sense of authority against them. Gathering the children close like a mother hen, Jesus says to his followers, “You all are so concerned about entering the Kingdom of God? Here’s how. Look at these kids—Be like them!” Join us this week at Sedona United Methodist Church as Rev. Fred Mast brings a message entitled “I Refuse to Grow Up”.
Sunday mornings we enter the spirit of worship at 9:30 a.m. featuring meaningful times of prayer, joyous music, and life messages that will help move you closer in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Our worship is upbeat and lively, and Holy Spirit filled! Immediately following worship, you are encouraged and invited to stay and join us in our Fellowship Hall for the friendliest and best fellowship time anywhere featuring delicious snacks and great coffee and always friendship.
FINAL WEEKEND FOR PUMPKINS!!!—Sedona UMC is partnering with Young Life of the Verde Valley in our very popular “Annual Pumpkin Patch” with all the proceeds going toward supporting YL youth campership. And don’t miss our annual “Trunk or Treat” celebration on Thursday October 31st, 5 to 7 p.m.—Candy, Free Hot Dogs and Soda – a great family friendly celebration for the entire community.
We offer several weekly book and bible studies: Please Call the church office for more details (928)282-1780. Wednesday’s our Men’s Bible Study at 9am; and Thursday’s our Women’s Bible Study at 9:45am. So many great missions, ministries and events happening at Sedona UMC—Visit our website at us on www.sedonaumc.org and “Like” us on Facebook. We would love to pray for you! —Prayer requests may be submitted online or by calling us at 928-282-1780. We are conveniently located at 110 Indian Cliffs Road off the Back O’Beyond roundabout on Route 179 in Sedona. All are welcome at Sedona UMC—Come and grow with us!