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The Dancer

Let the little children come to Me
Mark 10:2-16 or 10:2-12

Sermon Topic God: as Dancer

Sermon Week Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 10:14


Backward, turn backward, O Time in your flight, Make me a child again just for tonight.

These two well-known lines from the poem "Rock Me To Sleep,"1 seem very much in harmony with two lines spoken by Jesus in today's Gospel Lesson:

I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it (Mark 10:15).

But time will not turn backward for us, not even for a single night. Only the TV camera allows for "reruns." Consequently, how do we interpret Jesus' call for a childlike response to His invitation into the Kingdom of God? Who are the model children we must emulate in staking our claim to the Kingdom?

Obviously, the experience in Jesus' time would bear little resemblance to the growing-up experience of our time. Could it be that each of us is expected to revert back to his or her own particular time of youth? Or are we to look to the lives of the saints for clues? (In point of fact, some saints were frightful rascals in their younger days!) The answer, of course, is none of these. Jesus is not speaking of youth as a time of life. Rather, Jesus is speaking of a state of mind and heart -- a quality of life we can aspire to, regardless of age. It is a willingness to "seek first the Kingdom of God" in the spirit of youthful enthusiasm and imagination and wide eyed anticipation. Youth, in the Gospel sense, means to approach life in the spirit of adventure; to live in a way that says, "I'm really going someplace with my life!" Years may wrinkle the skin, but lack of enthusiasm for life's journey wrinkles the soul.

Whether one is seventy or seventeen, there is in every human heart a great reservoir of childlike awe and wonder: a childlike zest for "What's next?"; a childlike hope for the transformation of things-as-they-are into things-as-they-ought-to-be. We read in First Corinthians...

Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what [...]

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