Today's Lectionary Text
A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
“You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit
It never ceases to amaze me how often the disciples just don’t get it. As they sit around the table, at the Last Supper with Jesus, instead of listening to what he has to say, they spend their time arguing about who will be the greatest. Who will be remembered? Who will lead once Jesus is gone?
They start to bicker trying to one up each other and prove to one another why they’re the greatest. I wish I could say, thousands of years later, all of us in Kansas and Nebraska would not have the same arguments the disciples had. But unfortunately, our world sometimes puts an emphasis on “greatness.”
Twenty-first century greatness comes in the form of having the most money, becoming a millionaire, or having the newest car. It might come in the form of having the most followers on social media or most friends. People start to equate fame and riches with greatness. However, Jesus’ words still ring true today.
Greatness is not about boosting our egos; it is about serving others. It is about sitting with people when they are going through a challenging time. Greatness is about welcoming the stranger and being kind to someone who looks different than us. Greatness is about serving people and being advocates for compassion and love. Greatness is achieved when we put our own desires away and focus on God’s will for us to build a kingdom of love and respect.
Even if actions feel small, like writing a note to a friend, in the eyes of God, this is true greatness. I must admit, I’m glad greatest for God is not about fame or wealth, but it is about loving each other fully.
Omaha FIrst UMC
Prayer for Reflection
Loving God, show us true greatest is gained by loving our neighbors and giving generously. May we continue to be true servants of your kingdom. Together we pray. Amen.
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