Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Mark 10:42-45 (NRSV)
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.”
Checking in on Southwest Airlines is like a game for me these days. Waiting for the exact minute when I can check-in and try for A boarding. Part of that is game, but the other is a desire for the perfect seat. I like aisle seats, but I really want an aisle seat in an emergency row. You can’t beat those seats! The leg room is great! Now, if you ask someone else, they will likely tell you they want a window seat, but hey, we all have our own idea of best.
So, it’s no wonder that James and John are also wanting the best seats for the journey. I mean, who wouldn’t want the best? But, unlike my opportunity to check-in, they went straight to the source (so they thought) and make the request. They just didn’t understand what they were asking.
Our world says that to be first, you must have the best, be the best. Jesus offers a rather twisted view of this idea of “first.” We are called “not to be served but to serve.” Our lives are not to be about being first in line, or getting the best seat, but rather offering our place in line to others or getting up so a family can sit together.
James and John were no different than any of us. Like them, there are moments when we just don’t understand that living as a follower of Jesus challenges the way the world says we should live. I hope to learn to be more aware of others and less focused on myself.
God, turn the world upside down with your radical ideas. We like being first, and the world says that’s the way it should be. Break through the stranglehold that the world has on our lives and teach us, change us. Help us truly to look out for others, loving them with our actions and serving them in the name of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Go with God.