A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
"You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Luke 22:24-30
The first gatherings of General Convention are always wonderful and always overwhelming. I am thrilled to see so many old friends. I am cautious as the posturing and desire for power is so real and so very palpable. We call ourselves a missionary society but real mission is service - putting ego aside to raise up others, putting aside wealth and security for the sake of those who have none. There is too much jockeying for position, too much tooting of one's own horn.
The disciples were as human as we are. They immediately, when hearing the time was short with Jesus, wanted a promise of security and position. What they got was an invitation to service and a reminder that their work was not done. The worth of their lives is not measured in their earthly holdings. Neither are ours. Our worth is measured in what we give away, what seat we are willing to give up, and which losses we count as gain.
Today, as we gather for the first official day of business, I pray that we can work together for others, and not for our gain. I pray that I might be a worthy servant and that we might give away with the joy of Christ.