Jesus is once again asking us to look at ourselves, to be self-reflective. It’s as if he saying to John, “Don’t you worry about that other guy. You worry about yourself.” He’s asking us to look within. The greatest stumbling blocks are not outside us but within us: anger and revenge, the judgments we make of others, prejudice, our desire to get ahead and be number one, the need to be right, our unwillingness to listen, the assumption that we know more and better than another, living as if our way is the only and right way, pride, fear, being exclusionary, our busyness, lies, gossip, our desire for power and control. These, and a thousand other things like them, are what cause others and us to fall. Continue reading First, Do No Harm – A Sermon On Mark 9:38-50
For most of us, I suspect, Monday greatness is about being number one, a winner, a success. It’s about power, control, wealth, fame, reputation, status, and position. Have you ever seen the losing super bowl team dancing around with two fingers in the air shouting, “We’re number two, we’re number two?” Probably not and you probably never will. Can you imagine a political slogan about making America last or a servant of other countries? Besides, who wants to be the servant of all? That’s for the uneducated, minorities or foreigners, and those we can get away with paying less than a living wage. At least that’s often how it works today. Being last and servant of all is not what we usually strive for. That’s not the greatness to which we aspire. Continue reading I Want To Be Great, Don’t You? – A Sermon On Mark 9:30-37
The collect and readings for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 20B, may be found here. The following sermon is based on Mark 9:30-37.
“They had argued with one another who was the greatest.” We shouldn’t be too surprised. We’ve probably been a part of such arguments. From sibling rivalry to be mom and dad’s favorite, to the Syrian civil war, and everything in between greatness is a question with which we all live. It is one of the primary questions at the heart of our conflicts, injustices, anxieties, and insecurities. Whether we ask it aloud or silently to ourselves, we want to know, “Who is the greatest?”
Behind this question is a deeper issue. It is a question of space and place. Is there a place for me in this family? In this church? In this business? Is there a place for my religion, my politics, my race, my lifestyle in this society and culture? Is there a place for my people, tradition, and history in this land? Is their room for me? Continue reading “Room Enough, A Place for Everyone”