Sunday, October 21

In today’s Gospel reading we see James and John doing what all of us tend to do best. Seek our own will, our own glory, what we think is best for us. That’s not always bad so long as we’re willing to set it aside when God shows us something better. “Something better” being His will. But it gets bad, and life goes wrong, when we let overblown egos demand our own will and refuse to comply with God’ s way, with His plan for us. As we read all of the Gospel accounts and other books like Acts and the epistles these two apostles wrote it becomes obvious that they set their wills aside in favor of His. But, being human, they had their moments. We all do.

Now setting on the right and left side of Jesus in Glory sounds pretty wonderful. And it would be. But there are other things more needed, more expedient for the good of our souls and therefore just as wonderful. But we don’t always recognize these things for what they are, at least not at first.

Jesus goes on to describe these wonderful but not readily recognizable things …

“Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” ~ ” … whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant.” This baptism was to be a baptism of blood and this cup the one He prayed might pass as He agonized in the garden. The cup was filled with suffering. These things He accepted because He had taken upon Himself the role of a servant.

Suffering and servitude. While most probably like to at least think about things similar to setting next to Jesus in Glory not many pray for these other things. Few pray for suffering and servitude. Who wants to suffer? Who wants to be a servant? But look at Jesus, our Example. Did He suffer? Was He a servant? And what was the result? The very glory that James and John desired. From a personal standpoint I can tell you that suffering has great worth. After nearly two years worth of chemotherapy and chemo related drugs I’m still alive and able in some small way to at least try to serve God. And I’m surely closer to Him, although I’m also just as sure that I’m light years away from setting on His right or left hand in Heaven. And being a servant? I always disliked the idea of serving others. It sounded so demeaning. Until I became a waiter. I never will forget the night I went home and counted my tip money to the tune of $694. And that was after I’d tipped the bussers twenty bucks each. That’s a homely analogy I admit, but if people can be that generous when all I did was smile, take their orders, bring their food, and keep their drinks full, well, how much more generous is God?

It’s okay to be human and have our moments so long as we don’t forget Who it is we really serve and keep His will at the fore. And our rewards? They’ll be greater than our expectations. Take it from an ex-waiter. 😉

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Published in: on October 21, 2012 at 8:06 am  Comments Off on Sunday, October 21