Thursday, March 22, 2018

First Will Be Last

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.'” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” Mark 10:17-31 

I have been thinking a great deal about our present dislike of immigrants here in the US. Except for those of us who are Indigenous to this land, everyone else are immigrants, some legal initially and others not. We have demonized the migrants who come and pick our crops and do the other jobs we were prefer not to do. We have shipped them out and crops rot in the fields. Folks who love their families and are willing to do anything for them are being shut out, while the selfish and the greedy parade around like winners, given the spotlight and the welcome. I can only wonder who is truly first and last in this age?

Jesus is confronted by a young man, desperate to be blessed and sanctified. Jesus is both gentle and honest with him. The young man's luxury has kept him from following. He is one who protects his money and status before caring for the needs of the people around him. We too, can get caught up in protection and security when the world is crying for clean water and secure food sources. God invites us to be sacrificial and aware. We are asked to welcome and to share.

Today, I ask God to be sacrificial, welcoming and sharing. May I never put myself first, but rather, see those who are in need around me and respond to them. May we live, putting ourselves last, so that those who we have neglected and scorned might have some comfort and warmth.

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