Starting All Over Again to Meet Jesus

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Jesus overcame, overturned and overthrew most of the dominant cultural values of His world.  He replaced them with the core values of the Kingdom of God.  Children were among the first whose lives were transformed by this unconditional love.  We all know how cruel life can be in a highly stratified society–for those on the bottom.  Untouchables.  Women.  Leppers.  Gentiles.  Gays.  Jews.  Negroes.  Aborigines.  Gypsies.  Irish.  All have taken, or still occupy, their “rightful,” say the privileged ones, places on the dung-heaps of their societies.

During my college years I worshipped and worked among the “Guineas of West Virginia,” as the dark powers identified them.  They literally lived on the slag piles of abandoned coal mines and drank putrefied water from sulphurized, poisoned, wells.

Oh, how they were despised, as vermin.  Could I ever tell you stories.

But, you should have been there for the celebration when I pulled together a little league expansion team from “the ridge,” and won by a TKO our final game of the season.  The last hitter popped up to our pitcher.  The third base runner despaired and stopped running.  But the pitcher dropped the ball.  He picked up the ball, crushed it to his chest and smashed into the runner.  Out!  Both were out!  Our 9 year-old pitcher finally rose up, triumphant!

I experienced another celebration when my community of rejected friends were victorious over the principalities and powers of the region and a water system was constructed on the ridge.

Is that where my passion for the well-being of the children comes from?  You will find that passion and purpose throughout my book, God Is Just Love.

I wonder if my exuberance on those occasions was similar to the reaction of parents when Jesus rebuked the disciples who sought to banish the children from His presence? Even more, Jesus announced to all the adults that if they wanted to enter His Kingdom they would have be become as children?!  Jesus overthrew culture.  Jesus overwhelmed the children with Just Love.

Is it not wonderful to know that we no longer banish the children to the slag piles of our society and make them drink filthy water?  That they, the children, no longer occupy the bottom strata of our culture and that their well-being is among the highest values of America?

 What?  What’s that you say?  How many did you say?  16,500.000 go hungry in the richest country on the earth?  Can’t be true.

Every day all of us living our ordinary lives are squandering, too often unawares, what remains of the earth’s natural resources, including clean air and water, so that a very small percentage of the human population can live our abundantly normal lives, even if it diminishes the faintest possibility that our children will be to live at all.  Every day, God’s eyes are on the sparrows and the lilies of the field, and God’s eyes are on the generations of beloved children who could populate the earth of the future and enjoy its wonders.

Lliterally, our eyes are focused on the present only and on ourselves.

Jesus initiated an overthrow of cultural values, turning everything inside out and upside down.  Now, as followers of Jesus, we could learn to focus our eyes on the future of the children, all creatures great and small and all of creation.  We can still do, each moment of every day, the next right thing, giving our children a decent shot at a decent life.  Love can still win.  Redemption is still the plan.

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