Humble Service (3 May 2021)

Morning Encounter:

Read:

The mother of James and John came to Jesus with her two sons. She knelt down and started begging him to do something for her. Jesus asked her what she wanted, and she said, “When you come into your kingdom, please let one of my sons sit at your right side and the other at your left.”

 Jesus answered, “Not one of you knows what you are asking. Are you able to drink from the cup that I must soon drink from?”

James and John said, “Yes, we are!”

Jesus replied, “You certainly will drink from my cup! But it isn’t for me to say who will sit at my right side and at my left. That is for my Father to say.”

When the ten other disciples heard this, they were angry with the two brothers.  But Jesus called the disciples together and said:

You know that foreign rulers like to order their people around. And their great leaders have full power over everyone they rule. But don’t act like them. If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others. And if you want to be first, you must be the slave of the rest. The Son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a slave who will give his life to rescue many people.

(Matthew 20.20-28)

Reflect:

James and John along with Peter formed an inner circle of three who were Jesus’ closest disciples. In some ways the question of their status was only natural. Yet Jesus reminds them (again) that the kingdom belongs to the humble. Authority and greatness for Jesus’ disciples are the reverse of the usual pattern of the world; true greatness comes with great service. Selfish ambition, status and grasping at power are not of the kingdom of Jesus.

Respond:

How can you serve others today without being noticed, without applause and without selfish ambition?

Midday Meditation:

‘A leadership in which power is constantly abandoned in favor of love is a true spiritual leadership. Powerless and humility in the spiritual life do not refer to people who have no spine and who let everyone else make decisions for them. They refer to people who are so deeply in love with Jesus that they are ready to follow him wherever he guides them.’

(Henri Nouwen)

Evening Reflection:

From heaven you came, helpless babe,
Entered our world, your glory veiled; 
Not to be served but to serve,
And give your life that we might live.
This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow him,
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King.

(Graham Kendrick From Heaven You Came)

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