“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. . . .”
Both Annette and her son, Lloyd, were born with disabilities and were often ignored by others. They worshiped at Roseland Christian Ministries and worked in the food pantry, drop-in center, and thrift store for 30 years. When Annette moved into a nursing home, Lloyd tried to manage without his mother. In an act of innocent hospitality, Lloyd allowed some shady men to move into their family home for shelter. Soon the men took over the house, and when Lloyd confronted them, they beat him to death.
In Matthew 18, Jesus teaches about having the trusting, dependent faith of little children, and of welcoming them into God’s kingdom. He also warns against doing any harm to “these little ones.” The Greek word for this term, mikron, means “small in significance or size”—and while it could refer to children, it can also describe other people that we might consider little or insignificant. In the kingdom of God, however, everyone is significant.
A group of RCM members, including the former pastor and his wife and other friends, gathered around Annette. Unable to leave the nursing home, Annette was rolled in her medical bed into a community room where we celebrated Lloyd’s life and the promises of God. A church member, Steve, sang, “Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong; they are weak, but he is strong.”
Father, thank you for your love and strength over all of us, for we are all mikron. Amen.
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