Welcome the Children

Does your church kick off fall programming andnew Sunday School classes or celebrate Rally Day this weekend? This is the tradition in my home faith community. Therefore when I came across this scripture and painting it seemed right for the blog post this week. The passage is of course familiar.

Jesus sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." Then Jesus took a little child and put the child among 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 9:35-37

Emil Nolde, Christ Among the Children
The interpretation of this painting in Imaging the Word reads as follows: In this rather abstract painting from the early part of the twentieth century, Emil Nolde presents Jesus leaning toward eager, responsive children with his back to the viewer. The artist visually invites the observer into this joyous encounter. Adults are presented in the left and darker segment of the picture. It is they who have been preoccupied with an argument over who was greatest among them.

As you know, Carrot Top Studio is in the business of using the visual to make connections to the Word primarily in worship. But reading the above as made me think of the visual as our body language and postures also. The painting is a "joyous encounter". Do we enter into worship with this same visual joy? If we did/do it might be as contagious as it seems in the scene in the painting!