23 September 2018 Ordinary 25

Vicar’s Reflection: 23rd September 2018, Ordinary Sunday 25

Have you noticed that when people who are new to power it sometimes goes to their head? They develop a sense of entitlement and sometimes overstep the mark. Jesus noticed his disciples arguing over who would be the most important in the new world order to be established, he placed a child in their midst and said to them: “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35). This radical idea from Jesus has quietly transformed society for the better. Recent events with two ministers in our Labour-led Coalition government are an example of the intoxicating effect that power has on people. The worldly regard for power is related to gaining personal advantage, prominence and status. The different wisdom from God is to use power to serve the least advantaged. We remember Jesus best not just by our love and worship but through service and sacrifice. Those who live close to Christ relate to others based on common humanity and equality before God rather than rank or power or money or prestige. They will treat janitors and royalty with equal respect, regarding everybody as a VIP. The disciples in Mark’s Gospel 9:32 are puzzled by Jesus’ teaching that he would suffer: "… they did not understand..." The concept of the servant leader who accepts suffering for the benefit of others is alien to most. True humility is to be found not in belittling self but in serving and raising up others.

Alex Czerwonka

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