A Season of Transition, a Season of Prayer — Please join us each day at 11:30 a.m. in offering a personal but collective prayer for our congregation. Today’s focus for prayer is: For our incredible Sexton team as they conduct their myriad duties.
Scripture: Mark 10:32-45
Key verses: 41-45 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’
Reflection: But it is not so among you. There it is: a Jesus ‘one liner’— as our current sermon series would put it. As the disciples wrestle for position, fully embracing the lesser but unrelenting gods of competition and excess (who is going to get the most and be the best), Jesus says: But it is not so among you.
Notice it is not an invitation that Jesus offers as in “might it not be that way among you?” He doesn’t issue a command, “it must not be that way among you!” It’s not a wish either, “wouldn’t it be great if it were that way among you?” What Jesus gives is a description. Jesus is not telling us what to do, but reminding us who we are. The jostling, the winning at all and any cost, the lust for power, the taking no prisoners, the desperate craving to be special, the ends justifying the means and the not giving a damn, all of that, has got nothing to do with us.
So then what way is it among us? Canadian theologian Douglas John Hall begins his book Thinking the Faith with this quote from a Canadian novel about the way it is among us:
Jesus says in his society there is a new way to live:
you show wisdom, by trusting people;
you handle leadership, by serving;
you handle offenders, by forgiving;
you handle money, by sharing;
you handle enemies, by loving;
and you handle violence, by suffering.
In fact, you have a new attitude toward everything, toward everybody.
It is that way among you.
Prayer (from the hymn Lord, Jesus, You Shall Be My Song): Lord Jesus, you shall be my song as I journey; I’ll tell ev’rybody about you wherever I go; you alone are our life and our peace and our love. Lord Jesus, you shall be my song as I journey.
Author: Derek Macleod
[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].