Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Embrace the Children

Mark 9:36-37
He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms he said to them, “whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people—African Proverb

How we deal with our children determines the well being of our nation. Our nation is in jeopardy because of how we have mishandled our children in the educational system in the United States of America. Across much of America we have created “failure factories” that push students through ill equipped or worse loses half of them to drop out. Many of these drop outs go on to be criminals that fill up our prisons. It cost more than three times as much to imprison someone than it does to educate them and we pay the bill.

Overcrowded schools, self preserving labor unions, terrible tenured teachers, special school districts all contribute to children being left behind after being pushed forward without an adequate education. While we are pushing power plays, the children are suffering in the margins of impoverished neighborhoods and inadequate schools.

Jesus’ disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in the new political system that they thought Jesus would be the head of. Jesus told them that power was different in the economy and kingdom of God. The greatest in God’s Kingdom would be the least of these and the greatest would be the servant to the rest. Then right after that Jesus brought one of the least of society, a child, to shift the balance of Power. He embraced the child and said, “Whoever welcomes one of these little ones in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

When we successfully embrace all children we truly embrace Christ. In the movie “Waiting on Superman,” a documentary on the failing school systems in America and the reforms movement of charter schools embracing the children, one of the saddest scenes is when a little black girl in New York sits in her window watching her classmates graduate from kindergarten while she cries because her mother can’t afford to make payments to the Catholic School for tuition.

If Shelby County sets up the special school district 70% of impoverished children will be walled out because of the Power play of adults in the battle of county vs. city. On March 8th Memphians have the power to vote “Yes” to embrace the children or “no” to set up separation between the “haves” and “have nots.”

It’s been said that” Failing communities” cause” failing schools” but it’s failing schools that perpetuate failing communities. We can’t fail our children we must embrace them.

Dear God,
Help Memphians to do the right thing and embrace all of our children. Send Reform through America so we can create schools that will raise the expectation and standard for how we embrace our children. I believe that the children are our future, help us to teach them well so that they can lead the way. Help us to embrace them so that they can see all the beauty that they possess inside.

In Jesus Name,

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