The Rev. Dr. Richard L. Floyd is an author, writer and blogger. He is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ in Pittsfield, where he served for 22 years. Before that he served congregations in Maine and was a seminary chaplain.
Scripture: Mark 10:42-45 (NRSV)
So Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’
Reflection: We’re Still Learning
The disciples expected great things from Jesus when he would usher in God’s glorious new reign on earth. But their lofty expectations were dashed when he ended up hanging dead on a Roman cross.
It was only after the resurrection that they begin to understand what he had been trying to tell them and teach them all along. They remembered the things he said, such as “those who want to save their life will lose it, but those who lose their life for my sake will save it.”
And they remembered the things he did: how he washed their feet, how he healed the sick, how he cleansed the lepers, how he embraced the outcasts, how he fed the hungry.
Above all he taught them a completely new understanding of authority, and a new kind of power, the authority of a servant and a power made perfect in weakness.
They were not to lead as the Gentile rulers did, as tyrants and bullies who lorded their power over their subjects. No, they were to exercise their authority through servant leadership, with authority that is humble and aims to serve others. Jesus was teaching them that you can’t love down.
He was teaching them, and the generations that would follow, how to be the church. We’re still learning.
Holy One, teach us to serve as Jesus served, to love as Jesus loved.
New Prayer Requests:
We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Drew Page at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayers of Intercession:
- For the victims and their families of the 557 mass shootings already carried out in 2021
- For the families and friends of more than 711,000 who have died due to the Covid-19 disease.
- For Elsa Marshall, former Resource Director and Associate for Christian Faith Formation and Youth Ministry for the historic MA Conference, whose fiancé Jack died on October 7
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- For those who struggle to make this world a batter place for all
This Week in History:
October 11, 2002 (19 years ago) Former President Jimmy Carter wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his enduring efforts to find peaceable solution and advocacy for humanitarian aid.
October 12, 2007 (14 years ago) Former Vice-President Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to educate people on climate change in the wake of his book An Inconvenient Truth.
“Study the past if you would define the future.”