One day, we hear in Mark 9:33-37, that the disciples were walking along the road with Jesus, and they began arguing among themselves. Jesus overheard them, and when they got to the place where they were going, He asked, “What were you arguing about on the road?” The disciples suddenly got very quiet. They were embarrassed because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. Jesus sat down and called His disciples to Him. “If anyone wants to be first,” He said, “he must be the very last, and be the servant of everyone else.” Now that wasn’t exactly what the disciples wanted to hear. They were hoping to hear Jesus say that they were going to have a position of great importance in His kingdom. Instead, Jesus called a little child over to Himself and took him in His arms. “Anyone who welcomes one of these little children also welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me, also welcomes the One who sent Me.”
Sometimes we think the most important thing is to be the first, to be the most beautiful, to be the smartest, or to be the greatest! That isn’t what Jesus said. He said that the most important thing was to think of others first and ourselves last. If we want to be great in God’s sight, we should seek to be a servant rather than seeking to be served. We must always try to be kind and help other people, and that may at times mean we don’t get what we want when we want it. It may seem hard and upside down, but Jesus wants us to think of others and their wants and needs even before what we want or need many times. The real way to greatness is to have a heart like Jesus! With Hurricane Florence and all the destruction and heartache the storm brought to so many people, pay attention to all those helping in so many ways that have a heart like Jesus and are being a servant to those in need.
Let’s say our prayer for the week. Dear Jesus, please be with all those who were affected by the hurricane this last week. So many people lost everything, but so many people are trying to help them in any number of ways. Those workers know that to be the greatest, they must be willing to be the least, helping others with what they need before themselves. May we remember that lesson too, and always give us a heart like Yours. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Ann Moody is pastor of Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church.