Morning Musing: Mark 10:41-44

“When the ten disciples heard this, they began to be indignant with James and John. Jesus called them over and said to them, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. But it is not so among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you will be a slave to all.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

In my household, there is a simple rule that regulates our interactions with our three boys. Perhaps you have a similar, if unwritten and even unspoken, rule in your own household. If one child gets something, the others must be treated in similar fashion. If one child gets a snack before bed, all three need a snack before bed. It wouldn’t matter if the other two had finished eating dinner only moments before. They are suddenly starving and couldn’t possibly be expected to make it to breakfast without one more bite of food. There’s another rule at play as well: If mom and dad put you in charge, you get to act like you’re in charge. Now, we didn’t make up these rules. They came part and parcel with the parenting gig. I suspect they came with your own gig too. The reason for that is simple: These rules are how people naturally think and interact with one another. The disciples put both rules on display here…and Jesus explains (again) that this isn’t how the kingdom of God works. Let’s talk about it.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 9:33-35

“They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, because on the way they had been arguing with one another about who was the greatest. Sitting down, he called the Twelve and said to them, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be last and servant of all.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Is there anything you do that you can say you’re the best in the world at doing? If you’re like me, while you may be good – even really good – at a few things, to say you’re the best in the world is probably not something you can claim honestly. Perhaps, though, you hold a Guinness World Record for doing something. You can search their archives for really obscure records and get them to come and watch you do it in order to claim the title. That would technically make you the best in the world until someone breaks your record. In spite of knowing we’re not the best in the world, though, most of us still want to be the best. We simply opt for a different level of greatness. If we can’t reach the pinnacle of world domination, then we’ll settle for being better than the people around us. This is a natural human tendency. It is a natural human tendency that Jesus here wanted the disciples to understand works very differently in the kingdom of God than it does in this world.

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Morning Musing: Philippians 2:5-8

“Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death–even to death on a cross.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday, we talked about something that could completely changed the world if we put it into practice: Putting others first and ourselves second. If we just took that one idea and ignored the rest of the Scriptures, our world would never be the same and infinitely better than it is now. But doing that kind of thing seems extreme beyond the pale. I mean, who really has done that kind of thing in a way that mattered? And besides, as we finished up asking, what if the interests of the people around us are contrary to our own? Paul realizes these instructions were pretty big to try and follow and so he goes on to offer an example. It’s a pretty good example. Let’s look at it.

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Redeeming Your Time

What are we supposed to do with all the time we have on our hands now? Perhaps you don’t feel that tension during the day if your household is like ours and you’re trying to both work full-time and do school for your kids, but as the busyness of the day ends and the weekends arrive, it may make itself known. In a day when many people are wondering what we’re supposed to be doing, here are some answers to that tough question.

Reverend Jonathan Waits
Sermon: Redeeming Your Time (2 Peter 3:14-17)
Date: April 5, 2020

So, are you bored yet? As I occasionally scroll through my Facebook feed, I see post after post of people asking to be entertained. We are living in an interesting time. For a society that is as digitally fed as ours is, we are collectively learning that you can only stream so much content before you’ve had enough. The other day my boys watched a show in the morning, and then entirely of their own accord turned the TV off and went outside to play for pretty much the rest of the morning. All by themselves. I didn’t have to tell them to go at all. I wondered for just a bit if someone had replaced all my children with doppelgangers. Our culture is collectively rediscovering that there is a whole world outdoors that reflects God’s beauty and is worth exploring to its fullest. We are reconnecting on walks in ways we haven’t done in some time. I wonder sometimes if our reaction once things get back to whatever normal is going to be on the other side of this will be to overload on busyness to make up for the lack we have enjoyed, or to realize just how busy we were in comparison with how we have been and opt for a slower pace all on our own. Then again, perhaps not, but maybe. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that these are interesting times and not necessarily in a good way.

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