Scripture: Matthew 20:17-28
Key verses: (26b-28) “26b whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 28just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Reflection: Today, I got up early to head out for some Black Friday Shopping. I know it is crazy, but there is something fun about being in a crowd of people excited about Christmas. As we waited in line for our first store to open, we thought it would be funny if they let the back of the line go first! It would be funny, because I was in the middle…..I am not sure it would be funny if I were first.
In our scripture passage today, Jesus redirects our attention from the front of the line to the end, surprising us with who is found at both points. This reversal reminds us of the radical nature of the kingdom of God and of God’s grace. Jesus challenges us to live out the actions as a servant, and there we will find all that we are seeking.
Accepting the invitation to the inclusive meaning of the kingdom is challenging. It may seem like an easy commitment to join in kingdom living. We believe in the love, mercy, justice and grace of the kingdom. However, this also asks that we surrender our ego needs and live a life that is more selfless than selfish. This is the hard work of being a disciple.
The “first shall be last” has nothing to do with lines or our consumer-driven world, and everything to do with loving and living with a servants’ heart.
Prayer: God of reversals, hidden and revealed, first and last, beginning and end, guide me in my kingdom living. Strengthen me as I seek to be a servant to those around me, and the stranger whom I have yet to meet. May all glory and honor be yours, now and forever, Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[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].