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24 An argument broke out among the disciples over which one of them should be
regarded as the greatest. 25 But Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles rule over their subjects, and those in authority over them are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But that’s not the way it will be with you. Instead, the greatest among you must become like a person of lower status and the leader like a servant. 27 So which one is greater, the one who is seated at the table or the one who serves at the table? Isn’t it the one who is seated at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 “You are the ones who have continued with me in my trials. 29 And I confer royal power on you just as my Father granted royal power to me. 30 Thus you will eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones overseeing the twelve tribes of Israel.

Luke 22:24-30

Trials. No one likes them and we often go to great lengths to avoid them. This year has
certainly presented trials. This passage in Luke occurs amidst the forming of the final plot to kill Jesus and the preparations for the final Passover Jesus would spend with his Disciples. Talk about trials!

Even in the middle of all of that, the Disciples were bickering over who was greatest. It seems to be the echo of our day. Jesus calmly and clearly reminded his followers that the greatest in God’s eyes is the one who serves. That seemsb so against our world, especially our American culture. We bicker over who is greater, and Jesus simply states that to be great, one must be humble and serve. I believe this attitude is at the heart of the Gospel.

Jesus’ entire ministry on earth reminded God’s people that sharing God’s love in this world, here and now, was important. I believe that the most impactful way to share God’s love is in service to others. We hear so much discussion, or rather argument, over personal rights. Is it possible that we, as a people, are focusing wrong? Might it not be as much about me and you as it is about us together? I believe that our lives as people of faith truly are not about what I may want, but what God wants.

Living about each other is even harder when we cannot be together, except through the
filtering medium of remote communication. It is hard to focus on us when the needs of me
seem so weighty. Likewise, is it hard for the world to see the relevance of church when
mighty nice things are said, but nothing seems to be done – or worse, when the actions are
contrary to the nice words. This is the valid perpetual criticism of the church in general
and the cry of so many who have nothing to do with the church anymore.

We are coming together in person again. Let us not lose sight of what is important. Let us not put me ahead of us, or worse yet God. This is hard, because it is against our selfish nature. We may think we know God’s way, but if we do not consistently and continually seek God’s guidance, we may easily be on our own path instead of God’s. The hardest thing in our faith is to realize and admit that we have been wrong. Not always, of course, but sometimes. That honesty requires vulnerability, which makes us uncomfortable. I say this not to condemn any of us, but to encourage us be honest with ourselves and with God. I believe God has a plan. I believe that God’s plan allows us to be the best we can be and live into what God sees in us, sometimes including what we do not even see in ourselves.

As we move forward with honesty into a new future as people of faith and as a congregation, it is even more imperative that we know who we are. First, we are God’s. But in that, there are specific things that we hold as core values. I asked for these from you before, and very few responded. Please do. What do you consider to be the core values of our church – those things that are the most important values to hold up no matter what? I need to know. We need to know so we can move into whatever comes our way, together.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Brian

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