Saturday, August 6, 2011

Greatest Servants

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him. 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 9:30-41

Today was 92nd annual St. Peter's Bazaar. In this little town by the ocean folks gather to sell books and glassware, bake goods and white elephant, hoagies and hot dogs,and provide entertainment for children, all for the sake of a little church that serves people for three months out of the year. For many people, this little summer mission chapel is home, a place where folks from all walks of like come, dressed simply and worship together. They come from Cathedrals and Missions and all other places in between. And today, folks from all over donated the time and worked in the sun to keep the doors open for others.

Jesus is on the road to Jerusalem, trying to help his disciples understand what must happen in the end. And they start fighting over who is the greatest among them. They are as thickheaded as always, missing the point, as we so often do. It's never about perfection but about who is willing to serve others. Who is willing to let go of control and put the needs of others first - especially the children, the orphans and the widowed.

Today, after a full morning I am a bit exhausted but always grateful. Grateful to have opportunities to serve others, grateful to watch the joy and wonder in children and grateful for this little chapel that give all of us strangers a home.

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