The first must be last. To be first you must become a servant. These words of Jesus run so counter to the view of the world. In the world, power is seen as the one on top with the most money or the loftiest title or the best looks. Jesus says that when we welcome those at the bottom of society and get to know them, then we also come to know Him better. In the world’s view, those beneath are just stepping stones.
For Jesus, welcoming in and getting to know those who are struggling breaks down the barriers that often separate us. In forming relationships we remove our misconceptions. In loving other we help them to see their worth and identity as a child of God. But it is not all one-sided. In doing these things, our love for God and our love for neighbor grows as well. We too are changed.
It is in these moments and through these experiences with the discounted, marginalized, and invisible that we ourselves come to catch a glimpse of God’s kingdom. It is here we begin to see and know what Jesus meant when He said the first must be last. In this kingdom we place other’s needs ahead of our own. It is here that we see being a servant to those in need as a blessing to us as well as to them. In this kingdom we learn that all are servants.
This life-transforming love of God is powerful. It can forever change lives. This day, this week, this life – may we be moved to be builders of His kingdom. May we bring His light and love to all who are lost and in need. May we be forever changed.
Scripture reference: Mark 9: 33-37