Great Plains Daily Devotional for 5/8/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Heureuse Kaj Ayukwend
Deerfield UMC
Lydia UMC
Dodge City District
Berniece Ludlum
Beeler UMC
Dighton UMC
Dodge City District
Juan Espinoza
Dodge City First UMC
Dodge City District
Jerre Nolte
Dodge City First UMC
Dodge City District

Today's Lectionary Text

Mark 10:42-45

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.”

Today's Devotional

This text in Mark is a powerful summation of Jesus’ message to the disciples, and it is aptly shared the day before Mother’s Day. We find Jesus is on the move from place to place, teaching in response to questions from the crowd concerning divorce and relationships; wealth and eternal life, and so forth. The disciples are hearing all this as well, and Peter asks Jesus a question which foreshadows today’s text. Jesus responds to Peter's question with: “Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
 
Having said this Jesus then tells the disciples openly and for the third time about his coming death and resurrection. James and John appear to forget what Jesus has said and misunderstand the meaning of his words, for they boldly ask: “In your glory, can we sit at your right and left hand?” Rather than rebuke them, Jesus uses this as a teachable moment for his closest disciples and for all of us who would call ourselves Christian, as he says: “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 as ransom for many.”
 
This last sentence is, I believe, the essence of Jesus’ ministry. I think most of us fail to grasp this on a fairly regular basis, that life is not about what we can get, but what we can give. I think most of us like to be served at least some of the time, but the call of Jesus to his followers is to be a servant to others. I stated at the outset of this devotion that this is an apt prelude to Mother’s Day, for the simple reason that in my experience, it is our mothers who bring us into life along with God and who understand as well as anyone what it means to serve children above serving themselves. I know that is a large generalization, but still I hope and pray for all of us to hear Jesus say it is in the service to others -- and the giving of ourselves -- that we find wholeness in our lives.
 
-Rev. Galen Wray, Retired Elder

Prayer for Reflection

God of love, remind us when we are starting to like our name in lights just a bit too much, that your world does not revolve around us; that your loving Son shines on others as well; and that your call to us is to serve, rather than be served.
 

 

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