Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 29: Year 1
Morning, Psalms 140 and 142; Evening, Psalms 141 and 143:1 to 11;
Isaiah, 24:14 to 23; 1st Peter 3:13 to 4:6; Matthew 20:17 to 28:
“It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave:” (Matthew 20: 26 and 27).
I believe what our Lord Jesus is driving at is being comfortable with being the one who keeps everything going without being noticed. More to the point is to not seek greatness at all.
A long time ago I worked on an assembly line with a machine that made thermoses. Whenever the machine broke down we called a tech to get it going again. These techs were not seen until something went wrong. Most were men and women who worked with the machine as I was then doing. They did not create the machine or design it. They gained an understanding of how it worked and with a little mechanical training they were able to wait in a quiet place until a machine failed. They didn’t want to be president of the company; they just wanted to keep things moving, making thermoses. They stood by with their tool boxes and oil cans ready when needed.
I believe the point that Jesus is really making is for us not to want to be Jesus. But rather, just keep good works happening. We serve those who are doing the hard work of loving and helping neighbors without boasting about it. We must learn to live lives of not being great but being ready when called upon. And when called, we come with our Christian experience which is our tool box of Christian Education, and our oil can of compassion, with which we help bring others back on line. It is in this way that we are co-sustainers with the Great Creator.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done” (Genesis 2:1 and 2). So, for this evening and tomorrow day my friends, Shabbat Shalom.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John