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Choosing Sides

Whoever receives one such child in My Name, receives Me
Mark 9:30-37

Sermon Topic Children

Sermon Week Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 9:37


A small boy was being bullied by a bigger fellow. Undaunted, the little fellow drew a line in the dirt with his foot and issued a challenge. "I dare you to cross that line," he said. The bully immediately stepped over the line. "Okay," said the small boy, "now you're on my side."

Jesus is telling us in today's Gospel Lesson that if we adults are not on the children's side, we're on the wrong side.

When you affirm a young person you are delivering a message that says, "I'm for you unconditionally. I like who you are. I'm on your side." And taking his or her cue from you, the young person learns to become self-affirming: "I'm okay. I'm worthwhile. I'm likable. I'm loveable. I'm capable."

Child psychologists tell us that we need to be more aware of our attitude toward children. If we're glad to be with them our delight will register with them. If we're unhappy being with them, our displeasure will register with them. Either way, it makes a difference in their lives--and we must never forget that.

A few years ago, in a published survey, more than seventy percent of parents said they would be childless if they had to do it over again. A second-grade teacher who was shocked by this statistic decided to look to her young students for insight into this situation. She asked them what question they would most like to ask their parents. Many of the answers clearly indicated that the children were unsure of how their parents really felt about them. One especially troubling answer came from a little boy whose question was, "Are you glad you had me?" That eight-year-old had yet to discover whether or not his parents really wanted him, whether or not they were on his side.

Child abuse is a great American tragedy. Children of domestic violence are found in all socio-economic, educational, racial and age groups. Moreover, violence patterns are often seen in families: the battered child grows up to be a batterer. Child abuse can be so devastating that the child may [...]

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