The Last Place Is First

“Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me;
and whoever welcomes me isn’t actually welcoming me
but rather the one who sent me.”

Mark 9:37

Can you imagine being in a race and wanting to take last place? It doesn’t make too much sense, does it! But Jesus says that the last place in his Kingdom is really the first.

The world says that getting ahead is the thing to do. Being promoted in a company often makes people proud, for they have lots of people under them that they can tell what to do. Jesus’ disciples get caught in this type of thinking, wondering who is the most important among them in Jesus’ kingdom. Jesus notices his friends talking quietly among themselves on the road about who is the greatest; they are trying to keep their voice down so that Jesus can’t hear.

Listen to the strong words of Jesus about all that competition going on–all that selfish thinking that his disciples got into. What is it about being in the last place in his Kingdom that makes it so important to Jesus? Who does Jesus use as an example to show what he means? Will you do something this day and this week that will show that you’re catching on to Jesus’ teaching in this reading?

Mark 9:30-37

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer from today’s reading:
“Welcome child—welcome Me.” v. 37
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the fourth of thirteen weeks in the season of Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north.  Year B.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…