(Hebrews 2:5-12, Mark 9:42-10:16) Pastor Carol Weist
We are subject to an honorable God. As Christians we acknowledge that we are subject to an honorable God. As Christians we confess. We confess that God is the one true God. We confess that God is honorable and worthy of praise. We confess that Jesus, true God and true man died to forgive our sins. We also confess that we have sinned falling short of God’s honor and glory. To be cleansed, forgiven, and restored to honor in God’s eyes means acknowledging before God whatever in our past has been dishonorable.
Some put stumbling blocks before little ones who believe in Jesus. Jesus says in Mark 9:42 that it would be better to have a millstone put around one’s neck and be tossed into the sea than to have done that. People’s daily words and actions can be stumbling blocks tripping up little ones How do the children see us respond when life is unfair or disappointment comes our way? Do they see prayers to Jesus or cursing or other inappropriate, dishonest or dishonorable behavior? How do the children see us respond when blessings come our way? Perhaps children stumble to say thanks because they are not used to hearing thanksgivings for blessings from adults.
It is not our hands that cause us to stumble. It is not our hands that forget to wave that friendly hello. It is our hearts and minds that forget. No need to get rid of our hands. Our hands out of pure habit make friendly waves even when we are absent-mindedly going about our business or thinking of other things.
It is true that our feet may take us into the other room to get something and we may occasionally forget what it was we were getting. That is not our feet’s fault. More likely our hearts and minds are distracted. No point in cutting off your feet. We are called to teach children to use their minds and hearts to direct their feet in ways that get them where they are supposed to be and to go over and help another person and cheer them up.
When we close our eyes and do not see another person’s joy or sorrow, whether a child or a person of any age, whether that person is leaping for joy or stumbling through grief, it is not our eyes that are the problem, it is our hearts and minds. God salts us with a little fire from time to time to get our attention and renew our taste for seeing others joys and sorrows as well as our own, to get us out and about again and rather than being stumbling blocks parked in other people’s roads, we are back out there again with an encouraging word for those who are stumbling.
It’s OK to sit in an easy chair now and then or even regularly and share an encouraging word from there. However, we don’t generally put our easy chairs or beds in the middle of a hallway or road that people use to get from one task to another. That is being a stumbling block. But thank the Lord, we are subject to an honorable God and his mercy, and if we have parked our easy chairs in a stumbling block location, the good Lord lights a bit of a fire in our hearts and helps us move that chair. We all need rest, but that need not be in ways that we get underfoot. Continue reading