Mark 9:36-37 “He put a child in the middle of the room. Then, cradling the little one in his arms, he said, ‘Whoever embraces one of these children as I do embraces me, and far more than me—God who sent me.’” (The Message Bible)
The he is Jesus who is talking to his disciples here. There was a time not so very long ago when the prevailing wisdom was that “children should be seen and not heard.” While parental love was part of the human condition, the actual tasks of caring for children were given to paid servants if such could be afforded. Of course, it was always a small minority who could afford it. The rest changed the dirty diapers and wiped up the drool and taught discipline to out of control kids on their own. But here Jesus is indicating that those dirty diapers and that drool and those out-of-control moments were a place to learn the way God loves. He doesn’t farm out our care to others. He comes to us in Jesus, in his Spirit, through the scriptures and the church, his people. When we embrace the children around us and the child in all those around us and the child in ourselves we find a little bit of God, and a little bit of God goes a long way.