Rev. Dr. Wayne Chasney
Pastor Wayne began his ministry at Monroeville in August, 1993, after graduating from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA. Pastor Wayne has his Doctorate of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a focus on ministry in the small church.
In his spare time, Pastor Wayne loves running, reading and cheering for the Minnesota Vikings.
Pastor Wayne is married to Rev. Wendy Schindler-Chasney, pastor of St. John's UCC, Milan. They have two daughters.
"Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me." (Mark 9:37)
Be strong. Don't show weakness. Might makes right. Survival of the fittest. Real men don't cry.
Do any of those statements sound familiar? They should. They reflect an over-arching value of our society which is that power matters. Having power means getting your own way. Being strong means being first. The best way to keep the peace, whether in the home, in our neighborhoods, or around the world, is with an iron fist. The strong and powerful rise to the top. Power matters.
That was true in Jesus' day, too. The mighty Romans kept the peace with a mighty army. The wealthy controlled much of society. And the leaders of the Temple held tight control over the everyday lives of everyday people. Then as now, power mattered.
Then along came Jesus and he offered another path. Maybe the most powerful, Jesus suggested, are not the most important. Maybe the strongest are not at the top of society's pecking order. Maybe there's a better way to live and a higher purpose in life than just the accumulation of power.
Take this child, for example. Yes, people in Jesus' day loved their children just as much as we do. However, children held no standing in society. They were the most vulnerable members of society. They were the weakest of the weak. In a society where your social standing meant everything, children were nothing.
Jesus did not say to exploit them, as the powerful often do to the powerless.
Jesus did not say ignore them because they really don't matter.
Jesus did not say lock them away in cages and forget about them.
Jesus said, "Welcome them."
Welcome the vulnerable. Welcome the powerless. Welcome the forgotten ones. Treat them with deference, honor and respect. Show them love and compassion. Lift them up as role models for the world. For when we welcome them, embrace them, reach out and include them, we are really doing that for Jesus because Jesus himself was vulnerable, powerless and among the forgotten. And when we do that for Jesus we are really doing that for God who sent Jesus because God, too, is...
Perhaps we should rethink what power really is.