Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
St. Peter’s & St. Paul’s DayMatt: 20:25-28
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
From the time that we start school, we quickly learn the perks of being first in a line, being first on a team/game, or being first for lunch. However, as we grow up, life teaches us that being first isn’t always that great. It is similar to the lesson that Jesus is trying to teach his disciples. Jesus is saying this shortly after James and John’s mother asked Jesus to allow her sons to be at Jesus’ right and left in His kingdom. Now, as a semi competitive woman, I can understand this mother’s request and why she would want her sons to have such positions. Jesus’ response to this mother’s request and to the anger that is created amongst the disciples is what I hope causes all of us to love Jesus more and more each day.
Not just then, but even today, Jesus challenges us to consider our lives and our daily actions in a counterintuitive manner. Servant leadership. If you want to be great, if you want to be first, are you ready to serve, are you ready to give up your needs and wants for others? Whether it be in our workplaces, our schools, our homes, our churches, or our communities, it would be wise and prudent to be considerate when picking up roles of leadership. Are you picking up this role of leadership to satisfy your ego and to fulfill your needs/wants or to serve your workplace, your school, your home, your church, or your community? What roles of leadership have you already undertaken and are you leading with a servant like heart or are you leading in a way that promotes your self interest? As Christians, we have the ultimate example of leadership, through the life and death of Jesus Christ. He chose to serve, suffer and die for unrighteous, unholy, and sinful people.
Abba, as we start each day, help us not to get caught up in the order of life that society and culture has created, but help us to live as you have called us to live, counter to culture and society, not looking to be served, not looking to be praised, but rather to serve others and to humbly seek after your attention.
“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” – Jesus Matthew 20:16
“With great power, comes great responsibility” – Uncle Ben
Dr. Sherine Thomas
Long Island Mar Thoma Church, New York