Then Jesus stepped in. I wrote these words as part of my sermon on Sunday and after I wrote them, I just sat back. The truth of this statement, the power it contains, for my life and for the life of church, stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t help but consider the ramifications of this moment when Jesus steps into the argument between the disciples about who would have places of honor, places of power. Like in that story, Jesus steps in and stops all the fighting and power struggles and reminds us of what really matters. We are servants and we will be at our best, our greatest when we serve one another. Period. There are no qualifications to this. There are no boxes to check off, no check list to refer to, no secret handshake or words to say that signifies to followers of Jesus that the one in front of us is the one we are to serve and not that one over there. We are simply to be servants of all, extending the love and grace we have received from God to each and every person we encounter.
Jesus steps in and changes everything.
Living in the love of God through Jesus means we continue to work toward that day when everyone everyone is known and valued. There is no other way to be than like Jesus, who steps in so that all may know their inherent worth in the eyes of God and of humanity.
This has deep ramifications for the lives of Jesus followers in 2019. When a large group of people turn their hatred onto another group of people, it is for us as people who follow Jesus to step in and speak up. When our government is so gridlocked because of power struggles and backstabbing that the work on behalf of the people and our earth cannot get done, it is for us as people who follow Jesus to step in and speak up. When people come to our borders seeking asylum as countless of thousands have done before them and we lock them away because of the color of their skin or the country they come from, it is for us as people who follow Jesus to step in and speak up.Throughout history the Church has found itself at crossroads when we have to choose which way we are going to go: the way of the cross, serving our neighbor or the way of glory, serving ourselves. Sometimes we have gotten it right and sometimes we have failed miserably. We are at such a time again, where the way of Jesus, of serving and loving, of working for justice and joy with compassion and peace is being challenged by those who would say that fear and anger and selfishness is the only way. It is time, dear church, for us to be boldly like Jesus and step in, for the sake of everyone born.