"Spending time with a child is the surest way back to God."
I invite you to take a few moments to think about his words from the point of view of the disciples. In 1st Century A.D. Palestine, kids were 'invisible,' and had no real worth. Unless you were the first born male, your status was less than that of a servant or slave. You could be sold, bought, or traded like a commodity.
Is that description any different today? Think about yourself when you were three or four years old. How would have Jesus' words affected your life? Now, imagine being abandoned or orphaned, struggling to find food, shelter, and the basic necessities to survive.
God knows that babies and children are the most vulnerable. Yet we are all children of God. We are all vulnerable, in need of others to help us, care for us, feed us, and tend to our wounds. Just as we receive we are also called to give.
This is as real of a fact today as it was when Jesus "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
How do Jesus' words shape your political position on immigration and acceptance? How do they define your spiritual or religious practices? How do you see your personal call to put your faith or beliefs to work when looking into the eyes of those who are running away from the many wars being fought around the world, or simply seeking peace and sanctuary from the conflicts that surround their lives? What then does it say when we reject them?
As my beloved wife once told me, "spending time with a child is the surest way back to God."