Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church—October 15, 2015
“James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." And he said to them, "What is it you want me to do for you?" And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking...” Have you ever been part of planning a wedding, or, even more to the point, a wedding reception? Seating, especially for a reception, can be a real challenge. Who gets the places of honor, who walks the bride down the aisle, how to include “Ex-es” and step parents or siblings: all can become very touchy situations.
In the gospel for this coming Sunday, Jesus’ disciples were arguing about who would get the places of honor when Christ came into his glory. The seat to the right was the highest honor, (think “right hand man.”), and implied the closest relationship. The left was also very important, second only to the right. Instead of putting them in their place, Jesus tells them they didn’t know what they were asking, and then asks them, “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They replied, "We are able." But they had no idea then how Jesus would suffer, and what the cost to him – and to them – would be.
Jesus leaves them – and us – with these words: “...whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:35-45)
Blessed are the wedding guests who are gracious about where they are seated, because they are so grateful to even be included in the celebration. May it be so for us in our lives, and may we find the places where we can be of most service to one another and to God.
Peace and blessing,