Monday, February 7, 2011

The Greatest

And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” Mark 9:33-37

I had the great pleasure of watching the Super Bowl at the house of dear friends with some new acquaintances and lots of food and good cheer. Despite the fact that the Steelers lost and Green Bay won, it was a fun time for all. On the way home, we got to talking about how great sports figures can get away with bad behavior. They are great athletes, they are champions, so they are seemingly allowed to be bad boys. There isn't much honor or fame for the most humble, the greatest sharers and those who do good all of their lives. Rather, we as a culture seem to revel in the short lived physical prowess and give them super human rights and free passes when they misbehave.

The Gospel finds Jesus listening to his thick headed disciples who are fighting over who is the greatest. And their master holds up a dirty faced, sticky handed child, a vulnerable wonder, an innocent who is completely reliant on the adults around them, and reminds them that the one who welcomes the least is the greatest.

Today I ask God to help me be one of those who welcomes the least. Help me not to look for glory or fame but to the needs and wants of others. May my words and actions honor God by serving the least around me. May we all see the face of Christ in those around us who are in the most need.

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