James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." And he said to them, "What is it you want me to do for you?" And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They replied, "We are able." Then Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared."
When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 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."
Oh the arrogance and pride swelling
our heads and our hearts we are
the accomplished and the best
we assure ourselves a place in God's kingdom
we can now go to the head of the line.
The world spins off her center
as wealthy grow righteous and feed
off the need of the vulnerability
the desire and the ache among the least
and promise green pastures for the elect.
Rain like tears from heaven hit the ground
the Lord above is crying, hard cold rain
our hearts are thick with pride
senses dulled with abundance and comfort
we drift away thinking righteous thoughts.
The rain falls on those who would follow
and those who would lead, never forcing
only keening for the abandoned children
the elder pushed aside by our hurry
the tender souls who do not harm
but cannot fight alone.
We who would lead must follow
kneeling with a brush and towel
offering our bread and roses to others
bending and waiting on the world
making space for love to take hold.
We who would be recognized must veil
and be silent while the silent speak
go hungry while the hungry are fed
ache while the broken are mended
and be blind as the blind get their sight.
Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.