It is always wonderful to work hard at something and see the results: to get good marks in school or make the scoring goal that wins the soccer game. It gives you joy to be a good artist or the best at long-jumps – and it makes you feel proud. But some people want to be the very best all the time. They like the power of being the best, or the strongest or the fastest.
In the story I will read on Sunday morning, Jesus’ followers (his disciples) are walking down the road, arguing with each other about who is the greatest. But they wouldn’t tell Jesus what they were arguing about! But he guessed. So Jesus asked them to gather around him and told them that God doesn’t care about who is the greatest or the most important. God cares about who pays attention to the people who don’t seem important. God wants us to help people who are sad, or lonely. God wants us to serve people who need help, and to welcome strangers.
Jesus said “If anyone wants to be the most important, then he must be last of all and servant of all.”
Then Jesus called over a small child and had the child stand beside him. Jesus said to his disciples “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but God, who sent me.” Here’s a coloring sheet
you might enjoy about Jesus’ message.
Who have you welcomed this month? Many of you have just started school and after-school activities, and have met new friends. Or you may have made new friends over the summer. There may also be people in your school or on your team, who are shy, or who are alone. It is hard to be a new person, in a new place. It is hard to feel like you don’t fit in. God wants us to be the best person you can be; to welcome the stranger – the person we don’t know. Everyone you meet has a story – just like you do. Take time to listen to other people’s stories and to share some of your stories. Take time to welcome the stranger.
Next week members of The Vedanta Society of Providence
will be joining us for worship on Sunday morning to commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s first public presentation in the United States – held at the Annisquam Village Church! They will share some of their music and traditions with us, and after church will share some yummy Indian treats. Come and welcome these friends of the Village Church!
On Sunday October 3rd, we will be celebrating the life of St. Francis of Assisi during worship and there will be a Blessing of the Animals at 4:00 p.m. All are welcome: people, turtles, cats, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, lizards and stuffed animals, too! Come and enjoy the blessings of two and four-legged creatures!
I hope you greet the week ahead and new friends with a warm welcome.
You are blessed to be a blessing and to be the best person you can be.