He Who Is First Must Be Last and Servant of All

He Who Is First Must Be Last and Servant of All

     James Tissot, The Exhortation to the Apostles

Are you familiar with the acronym G.O.A.T.? It’s a popular trend where people identify or argue about their favorite athlete, actor, teacher, etc. and stands for Greatest Of All Time.

It’s a notion as old as time. In today’s Gospel message, we read about the disciples arguing about who is the greatest among them! When they meet up with Christ, he points out that he who wants to be first, must be last and servant to all.

It’s probably not what they were expecting to hear. No, they wanted to know which disciple is the G.O.A.T. Who’s the favorite? Who is the best? Who does he love more? And while we all crave positive reinforcement, it completely misses the point that Jesus is driving at.

Jesus built his kingdom not on rank, prestige or any of the ways that the world defines greatness. He built it upon being the ultimate servant to all. In today’s sermon we examine what does it mean to be great in the kingdom of heaven.

Here is today’s sermon text from Mark 9:

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

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Voters Meeting: Our next meeting will be Sunday, September 26th at 3:30 pm via Zoom. Agenda includes routine reports along with discussion of sharing an internet connection with the Grange.

Volunteers Needed: We need a few individuals who would like to be responsible for setting up & tearing down the coffee station. A few ladies from the church have cleaned out the kitchen cupboards and bought fresh items. Now we need a few folks who can take on set-up and tear-down. Please speak to Margaret if you are interested in helping.

Bible Study: You are invited to join us! We have two classes every week. The first one meets Sunday mornings at 9:30 am in person and is topical. The second meets Wednesday nights at 7 pm via Zoom and is covering the Book of Colossians. If you would like to attend the Zoom class, please let Pastor know and he will add you to invite.

Donations: Although we are slowly emerging from the pandemic, the expenses remain constant. If you wish to make a donation please mail them to the St. James post office box as that is a secure location.

Vacation: Pastor Jenson will be taking the remainder of his vacation time from Sunday, September 26th – Sunday, October 6th. Bible Study will be recessed on those two dates. In case of need, please contact Deacon Poe.

Prayer requests. Bring your prayer requests to Pastor Jenson, Deacon Poe, or Loyd Harris (bulletin typist). They will printed in the bulletin and prayed in the Sunday service. The deadline is Tuesday for mailing on Wednesday. Remember if you are bringing a prayer request on behalf of another person their permission must be obtained.

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