I'm Number One - Reflections 9-19-18

Texts for Sunday, 
September 16, 2018
the 18th Sunday after Pentecost

Jeremiah  11:18-20
Psalm 54
James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a
Mark 9:30-37

Silence. Guilty look. 
Avoiding eye contact.

Have you experienced that reaction after asking “What happened here?” “Who did this?” “What were you saying to each other?” Friends, children, siblings, coworkers…. I’ve seen it countless times. Even my cats and my dog have done that. 

In this Gospel, Jesus’ disciples went into that mode after Jesus asked “What were you arguing about?” 

The very fact that they responded in that way demonstrates that they did, at some level, understand what Jesus was about. And it wasn’t about who was the greatest. 

How many playground fights have there been about this? How many mud-slinging campaigns have been about this? Gang fights? Hostile takeovers of companies? Wars? Ugh.  The first murder in the Bible, brother by brother, was a contest of who could produce the greatest thank offering to God.

What does “the greatest” mean today? Celebrity, power, prestige, wealth… winning awards, recognition, having the “most toys” or maybe just newest toys. 

What does “the greatest” mean in your life?

Jesus sat down and called his disciples. Jesus’ answer is “The first must be last and servant of all.” 


And click here for a little different take from 2015: 9/16/15


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Written by Pam Larabee-Zierath


Gathered by Grace, Scattered for Service
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