Scripture ~ People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16
Spiritual Focus ~ “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” Nelson Mandela
Breath Prayer ~ Inhale – Spirit in me, Exhale – Spirit for we
Devotion ~ The desire for wholeness in our relationship with God unfolds along the path of how we love, live and follow the way of Jesus. In this devotion series, we re-visit the various stories of Jesus as illustrations or stepping stones along this path. The first devotion highlighted Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and the concept of shalom, or peace, as one of the stones on the path. The next story was about Jesus’ non-anxious presence as another stone on the path. Today we look at a story of advocacy as yet another steppingstone on the path of Jesus. There are many stories where Jesus steps in and advocates for those on the margins of society, but the story of Jesus advocating for children is one that hits at the core of who we are as human beings and as a society. In today’s scripture Jesus advocates for children who, in his day, were of a low status. Here we read that he advocates for ALL children, blessing them and elevating their status in society as they too follow the path to God’s kingdom.
The role of advocacy extends beyond Jesus to the Holy Spirit. One of the many words in the New Testament that refers to the Holy Spirit is paraclete, or advocate. Throughout the scriptures the activity of the Holy Spirit appears in words and stories that show us the path to wholeness with God. Another word for the Holy Spirit is the Breath, given as a gift from God. Breath in our yoga practice is versatile and paramount, just as it is in our faith life. Sometimes the Holy Breath is a breath of shalom. Sometimes the Holy Breath is a breath of coming alongside someone as a non-anxious presence. And sometimes the Holy Breath is an advocate who encourages and supports us in acting and speaking for those who are unable to speak for themselves.