The Disciples were discussing amongst themselves who was the greatest. But when Jesus aske them what they were talking about, they were embarrassed at their egotism.
Jesus never rebuked them for wanting to great. Instead he taught them how to be great!
Jesus tells them who will be first: the person who doesn’t want to be: the person who shows vulnerability and servanthood rather than seeking their own glory.
Then he takes a child, puts that child in the midst of them, and says, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
Children weren’t welcomed in the first century. They were tolerated. They played like all kids do, but children were an economic asset, able and expected to work. They couldn’t speak for themselves and had no power. *
Yet, a child — powerless against the world around her and unable to defend herself — is who Jesus tells the disciples to welcome: the powerless, the vulnerable, the ones whose voices are ignored in the world.
Jesus says that by welcoming people like that, the ones who can’t influence society and don’t strive to be in charge, they welcome Jesus. Not only do they welcome him, they welcome God who sent him. Welcoming the powerless is a far cry from arguing over who is the greatest! *
Take a moment and think of when you have been great!
Think about that time when you were manifesting your best and notice how others were being Served!
What I find interesting about those times is that there is no ego striving!
At the end of a long day of service, we are tired, but also inspired!
There is good and bad within each of us.
Our task is to call forth the best in ourselves and the best in one another.
To create a better church, we don’t need better people. Rather we need to call for the best from the people already in our church!
Ministry is about multiplying our resources so that what might have been a handout becomes a revelation of God’s amazing grace!
Three questions to ponder:
1) What do you need to be your Best?
2) What do people you serve need to be their best?
3) How can we as a church bring forth people’s best?
*Thank you to The Rev. Joseph Peters-Mathews