Mark 9:35Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." 36He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me."
In Jesus' day, children were to be put in the back of the synagogue so the men could concentrate. When a special guest came, children were not allowed to be there. Jesus was always concerned about who was being left out. He was always welcoming the unwelcomed. He was generally paying attention to the neglected (lepers, sinners, children).
This is very similar to the passage in Matthew 25:31-46 when Jesus said "as much as you did it unto the least of these, you have done it to me (helping the hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, the sick, and the prisoner). In truth, we have all made ourselves unwelcome to God by our selfishness, greed, ambition and pride. We need God's grace to be welcomed into his presence.
Jesus promised his presence when we welcome the unwelcomed- when we welcome a child, we welcome him (his presence).
Today- look for those that most do not welcome.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you offer to welcome me. Help me to be welcoming to others.