Friday, September 25, 2009

Whoever receives one child...

MARK 9: 30-37

SEPTEMBER 20, 2009

When twelve men get together to argue about who is the greatest, we call this "trash talking." I belong to a running club, and this is what the guys do. We tell the other persons that we are so much better than them, and sometimes do it humorously. It is a thing guys do, not only in sports, but in business too. "My product or service is better than yours." It is all to boost the ego.

Consider how this would play out if you were suggesting that people sign up or volunteer for some church work, or any list of chores for any organization. For a church, people might be very willing to become an advisor on how the parish should spend its money. That looks like a leadership job. Maybe people would find popular, a chance to say what adult or children's religious studies should be, including picking content and textbooks. But would anyone sign up to clean the kindergarten room after children had gotten sick on the floor or crushed their treats into the carpet? This does not look like an important job. It does not stroke the ego. It won't get much attention.

Jesus brings an unimportant person into the center of the leadership group. A child is an outsider when it comes to "adult" leadership. A child does not have much expertise. Talents are not developed yet. They should be quiet and maybe do menial tasks. They are rather powerless, like Jesus was on the cross. Don't ignore them. Welcome them as Jesus does. Make them important. The last shall be first. Make yourself unimportant. The first shall be last. If you want to be a leader, a follower of Jesus, then do the jobs that don't puff up your ego. Do the things that you think are beneath you. It might be in those tasks that you will most encounter Christ.

I always hated to take out the garbage. I still do. But that is why I need to do it, and do it with a smile. It just might be the way that I will be most like Christ for me. It will shrink my ego and make room for God.

1 comment:

  1. Now I know why you take out the garbage in Sea Ranch. I am glad that I can help you be humble! I'll try to take it out too next time -- I could use more humility in my life too!