The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life

Lessons on Accepting the Kingdom of God as a child: by Xena the wonder dog.

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Today’s Gospel begins with a hard teaching on divorce, and then concludes with Jesus blessing little children. As I reflected on this passage I thought how paradoxical of life, and of Jesus, to put simple things into hard terms, and hard things into apparently simple terms. What to deal with first? Well since it is the Feast Day of St Francis it seems better to me to start with the more difficult part of this passage: Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. This part of the reading is most appropriate for today as it is the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, who is internationally recognized as the Champion of Peace and friend of all animals and the environment. To help me with this reflection I also asked for help from my friend Xena, the wonder dog. Xena is a Staffordshire bullterrier, usually called a ‘Staffy’ in shorthand by Australians. Xena lives with a good friend of mine and has the most placid and “peoplised” manner of any dog I have met. Xena has exceptional manners and can be taken anywhere a people should want to go with no doubts at all that she will behave appropriately and charmingly at all times. There is one place only where this rule is challenged, but it is a rare event, so we can let that discussion go until later. I call her the wonder dog for two reasons: 1. I wonder if she really is a dog, she is so peoplised and well behaved. 2. I look at her as I explore life, and find myself asking: “I wonder, dog, what you are thinking about life now?” If Xena could answer that question I am sure she would tell you about her life like this:

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