Daily Office Readings for Thursday of Proper 7: Year 2
“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; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20: 26 – 28)
Jesus has just heard the plea of John, and James (his brother) along with their mother, to share seats of glory in the kingdom of Jesus. It appears that she asks Jesus to let her sons be on his right and left side in his kingdom. To this Jesus explains, it is not his to give. The other apostles find out and are angered by their request. Jesus calls them all together and explains the difference between this world and heaven. On earth we have a lordship of tyranny where we rule by threats, money concerns and punitive measures. In heaven, it is a kingdom of servanthood. The whole idea of king and servant is turned upside down.
I’m guessing the problem I have with the language of Jesus, as it is translated and spoken in Matthew, is the part about “whoever wishes to be “great” among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be “first” among you must be your slave.” These words still show the continued goal of seeking the self-serving glory of being great, or, of being first. Can we not live to serve and be happy with serving without looking forward to sitting on the right or left hand of our Lord and Savior in some kind of shared glory? Once we learn to be happy by serving others, we can be happy anywhere, even anywhere here on earth, in this life. Let’s just be okay helping others to be okay. Ok?
Keep praying for Ukraine, that she also will be OK, Ok?
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