Monday, July 7, 2014

One Teacher

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father - the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted." Matthew 23:1-12 

When I went into my Mom's room yesterday in ICU she was in great pain. The nurse was doing all she could to make her comfortable, including giving her pain medication. She helped her to calm down her breathing until the medicine took hold. She gently held her shoulder, looked into her eyes, and breathed along with her until the calm took over. It was kind and gentle in a place that can be loud and furious otherwise. It was a gift of honor, so simple, so effective, but it made all the difference in that tough moment.

Jesus continued his teaching. He wants us all to hear that to be disciples or followers, we should be humble and do the small things that make all the difference to others. Our job is to lightened others' burdens, to be humble in all we do, so that others may see the glory and love of God.  Our pride and need for attention can easily get in the way of others' relationship with God. God promises to abundantly bless those who can take the small roles, serving others with great joy.

Today I ask God to help me be strong and humble in these challenging times. May we all be strengthened to serve, ready to offer God's love in the dark and painful places. May we know God's love in our dark and painful places, and know we are being bless in the humblest of times and places.

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