Scripture: Matthew 19:23-30
Key verse 30: But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.
Reflection: The theologian NT Wright tells a story about watching a magnificent fox hunt when he was a young boy. He describes the impressive sight of the leaders in their red hunting coats, on their splendid horses. These were the rich and wealthy from the neighborhood. Behind them were the slightly less wealthy riders, in brown and black hunting clothes on pretty good horses. At the back of the pack were a rag-tag bunch of riders looking sort of shabby and ordinary, on the least impressive horses of all. They all chased after a quick cunning fox who, in a brilliant move, hid in the bushes, then doubled back the way he had come after the hunters had passed by. One of the riders in the back spotted the fox and blew his horn, and all the riders had to turn 180 degrees around and go back after the fox. Suddenly, the hunt had changed. The misfits were now leading the way, and behind all the other riders were the rich ones, not at all used to being in the back of the pack, either in hunting or in society.
This is how it will be in God’s kingdom. Our regular rules no longer seem to apply. Instead, in God’s kingdom, what we thought was important and necessary will be worthless, and what we thought had no value may be what is most prized. Wright says this: “Those at the back, said Jesus, will find themselves at the front, and those at the front will find themselves at the back. There will be astonishment, embarrassment, delight and dismay. God is going to stand everything on its head. In the long human hunt for truth, wisdom, justice and salvation, the divine fox has doubled back, and is reappearing where we least expected him.”
Prayer: God of us all – misfit and king, rich and poor, cunning and foolish – teach us to value what you value, and look for what you see in all those whom we meet. We pray in Christ’s name. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].