Mark 9:35

Jesus sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’

On Thursday, the Republican party hosted the first debate in this long presidential election cycle. There was hoopla leading up to the debate and plenty of hoopla in the aftermath. Politics aside, the whole question of elections is who wins and who loses.

Jesus offers us a different way. In our life with Christ we must lose in order to win. We must die in order to be raised again. Or, as he says here, we must be last in order to be first. This is a monumentally counter-cultural statement. Our whole lives are spent in trying to get first place, both in the petty sense and in the grand scheme of things. We want to beat that other car through the Stop sign. We want to get the lowest bid for that thing we want on Ebay. From my own experience, I wanted to be top of the class. I wanted to get the accolades and achievement awards at school. I wanted to be first.

Today, I challenge you to be aware of the places in your life where you want to be first. Then ask Jesus what it would mean to be last.

The Rev. Jimmy Abbott