This week McLaren reflects on Jesus' ministry to the multitudes. Instead of focusing on a small group of elite or wealthy or powerful individuals, Jesus spends his time with the masses and people representing the masses. He could have hung out with the religious leaders, government leaders, and economic leaders of his day. Instead, he intentionally selected disciples that were "normal" people. Leadership still mattered, but when it controlled and excluded people, it had lost it's purpose and potential. The stories we teach our children and youth in Peace School remind us weekly that Jesus was in regular relationship with the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, and the forgotten. People mattered as long as they could earn money/profit or fight or attend religious rituals. If they didn't do enough of these three things, then there value was often questioned or decreased. But for Jesus, everyone had value and God wanted everyone to have more love, joy, community and peace in their lives.
This connects with many of the stories this January, February, March and April for the MYF and the 5th grade and younger. Indirectly, it interacts with the JYF reading of Revelation, and how it challenged the Roman Empire, and any empire that seeks control through military and economic power.
Contact Pastor Theda to participate in a theme based small group this year.