About a dozen years ago, I was back home visiting from my young-adult life in the city, sitting around drinking coffee with my mom and my sisters, when I suddenly heard my much-younger brother crying out in pain. I jumped up. “Where are you, buddy?” I called out.
I recently read The Circle, Dave Egger’s dystopian novel about a benevolent Internet company that eerily creeps into every aspect of our lives, taking it over, one smiley emoticon at a time. Think about it like this: a company encompasses Facebook, Google, and Amazon, and then it begins to partner with the government.
This year at Vacation Bible School I told the story of Jairus’s daughter. My plan was to have one child pretend to “sleep” and then be raised up by Jesus. But it turned out that all the children wanted a chance to be Jairus’ daughter. So around I went, taking the hands of “sleeping” children and touching their foreheads and saying something like, “Get up! Jesus makes you well.”
As I went around raising these children and sending them off to craft sheep out of marshmallows, I could not help but think of all the children who will not be raised up.
In her Motherlode post “I Refuse to Be Busy,” K.J. Dell’Antonia mostly bypasses some of the complaints of working mothers. She doesn’t, at least not in this post, discuss the pressures on parents who are pressing their kids toward the best school, the best jobs, etc.
Shortly after Glennon Melton was plucked from obscurity thanks to a series of enormously viral blog posts, Scribner beat out nine other major publishers in the bidding for her first book, Carry On, Warrior.
I often wonder what Jesus was getting at when he asked his disciple, “Who do you say that I am?” Was Jesus testing the waters, trying to figure out if the people and his friends understood the nature of his divinity? Was he trying to figure out if his rabble rousing was about to get him killed? Was he concerned with how his identity was formed by the community? Or was he simply wondering what people thought about him?
Today’s Gospel lesson, though not a traditional baptismal text, embodies the spirit of the sacrament: the ones bringing the children to Jesus are not necessarily parents; they are “people” moved to care for these little ones. This choice of language leads us to ask, if the adults bringing the children to Jesus are not their parents, then who are they? Why do these men and women stand up to the disciples for the sake of children that are not biologically theirs?