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Daily reading: 23 September

May we never be weak links in the chain of divine love.

Something to read

Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them: ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name, welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

- Mark 9:36-37 .

Something to think about

We are so familiar with this passage, sometimes using it with more sentimentality than discernment, that we may be in danger of overlooking its paradoxical and conditional nature. This choosing of the small and weak who are understood to have little agency and therefore depend upon responsible care from the larger, stronger and more capable, subverts the preconceptions of divine relation and power. It does not seem unreasonable to wonder if Jesus’ listeners may have missed its meaning. We are not told. What oversets our unexamined assumptions can be hard to hear and, as so often, his radical inversions may still escape us today.

Christian Aid’s work among some of the world’s poorest and least powerful people is framed in the unspoken opposite to Jesus’ example: ‘if you don’t welcome such as these...’  How easily we might fail in hospitality towards Godself.

Something to do

Choose to be a link in the chain by signing up to the Christian Aid prayer chain for climate justice.


Something to pray

Light of the world and of our own hearts, teach us to be still and to learn from others so we may never, through superiority or condescension, become weak links in the chain of divine love.

Today’s contributor is Jill Segger. Quaker, writer, journalist and associate director of the thinktank Ekklesia, at the time of writing.

Published on 23 September 2020

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Themes – Areas of work
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Bible reference
Mark 9:36-37