“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
Dear Fellow Redeemed:
The verse from Mark 10 will be part of the Gospel Reading on March 18 – the Fifth Sunday in Lent. It’s an appropriate reading for late in the season of Lent. It also comes at a curious time in Jesus’ ministry. It is nearing the time for Him to go to Jerusalem to be betrayed, to be crucified and then to rise again. In fact, just a few verses before Mark 10:45 He was doing that very same thing once again for His disciples. He was telling them what was about to take place.
But in the midst of another clear prediction / information sharing session about His upcoming passion, death and resurrection, James and John have a request. It was to be seated in positions of glory in Jesus’ kingdom. Weren’t they listening to Jesus? Didn’t they get it yet that Jesus wasn’t about the business of seeking glory and honor for Himself and His followers. No, He was all about giving rather than receiving. He was all about serving and loving others rather than being served Himself.
I think about this as I reflect upon our ministry here at Suburban Bethlehem. In our fast-paced, sinful, self-centered world it is all too easy for us to lose our focus as Christians. We lose our focus upon what it is we are called to be and do as individuals (for me I’m called to be a husband and father) and as a congregation – as Pastor Alex said in last Sunday’s sermon, it’s not about me it’s about Jesus.
Allow me to share some good news with you. Just this past Sunday (February 25) our church and school staff, along with members from our various ministry boards, spent the afternoon together at our annual staff and ministry board member retreat. It was one of my many favorite events of the year. I literally got to stand back and just watch – watch the good people of God that He has placed here to do mission and ministry together. I got to watch them in action as they discussed ideas for how the Lord is leading and challenging us to live out His call upon us. This group of dedicated servants – staff and ministry board members – get it. We are continually living out Jesus’ words. There is room for us to improve and be more passionate about witnessing, teaching and sharing Jesus. We are all sinners – and we are all redeemed in Jesus Christ. This redemption compels us to move forward in action and service. I look forward to each day as we seek to share Jesus. Will you join us?!
–Pastor Bill Mueller