“THEN LITTLE CHILDREN were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them. …” These disciples aren’t bad or evil persons. They just know about priorities. … Matthew declares up front that people have brought these children to Jesus for no big reason. All they desire from Jesus are his touch and prayers for the little ones You don’t have to be God’s gift to humanity to touch children or pray for them. Anybody can do that. People with less important things to do can do that. Don’t bother the rabbi. Don’t interrupt his ministry.
But as one of my preaching mentors once said, interruptions often are the ministry: the phone call in the midst of sermon preparation, the drop-in visit at the office, all the unscheduled moments when matters we thought important enough to block out time on the calendar for are met with opportunities to respond to another human being. Now here’s the catch. Life and ministry don’t work that way just for ordained ministers. God splatters each of our lives with unheralded yet opportune moments that come at us out of nowhere. And we’re left to decide in that figurative or literal split second: What and who is more important?
God of the child, Lord of every moment, expected or not, open my prayers and heart to the unexpected ways in which you come to me. Allow me to be surprised and distracted into ministry and prayer that touches the lives of your children. In Jesus Christ. Amen.
- John Indermark
Traveling the Prayer Paths of Jesus
From pages 46-47 of Traveling the Prayer Paths of Jesus by John Indermark. Copyright © 2003 by John Indermark. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What interruptions to your day have turned out to be opportunities for ministry? Share your thoughts.
Today’s Scripture Reading
Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.
Psalm 4:1, NRSV
This Week: pray high school seniors. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.
Did You Know?
God has some questions for you! Join author Trevor Hudson for an online course and discussion of his book Questions God Asks Us, April 30 – June 1, 2012 Learn more.
This week we remember Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (April 17).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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