Wide Open Arms: A Reflection
The iconic Christ The Redeemer with wide open arms was a very fitting image for The Street Child World Cup in its goals and aims to protect and campaign for the rights of street children.
I am reminded of Matthew 19 where we read about Jesus' interaction with children.
13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.
14 But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” 15 And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
His arms were wide open and he welcomed children and today the wide open arms of Christ are extended to all, to every person to every child no matter who they are.
Wilf Whitty - Unseen
You don’t notice them at first. A visitor’s eyes
adjusting to the sights of a bright new city on
another continent are easily distracted by
the bustle of the markets, the ranks of
customised minibuses, and construction sites
preparing for the arrival of the football World Cup.
It is only when you have spent a few days in
the city that you learn to see the signs: a pile
of clothes in a doorway; a young boy running
barefoot across scorched tarmac crossroads;
a small group of bodies huddled in the shade of a lonely tree at noon.
Once you have noticed them they are everywhere you look.
They are the children who live on the streets.
By day they lie low and stay out of sight. At
night they are busy staying alive.
Christ’s wide open arms remind us not only of His welcome and invitation, but also of His protection and care. As we the body of Christ serve Him in this world we seek to extend His wide arms to protect and care for street children all over the world.
The Street Child World Cup will be working in partnership with NGO’s in the countries represented at SCWC to campaign on particular issues in those countries. In doing so they seek to protect street children. Work has already begun on these campaigns:
Brazil Campaign – against police violence towards street children, and against street child round ups before the world cup
International Day of The Street Child – alongside hundreds of NGO's The SCWC are campaigning with the words of children answering the question what would they like to tell the world – this is an exciting campaign. 12th Apr. Pray for the voices of the children to be heard,
Christs wide open arms speak to of His cross, His suffering. In this way Christ is identified with those who suffer. This is also a reminder of the the cost and the sacrifice of serving the poor and the vulnerable. Serving street children can be painful and will have a cost. As Christ's wide open arms remind us of His sacrifice we are compelled to share love such as this.