Today’s gospel starts with disciples obsessing over who’s number one, which leads Jesus to say something about God’s take on importance and power. Here Jesus makes it explicit that the reversal of values in God’s community is a direct challenge to the values of the dominant culture, where wielding power over others is what makes you great. When we pray “your kingdom come” we are praying for an end to tyranny and oppression. We pray this gathered around the cross, a sign of great shame transformed to be the sign of great honor and service.
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The Lessons: (Link to the Readings)
First Reading: Isaiah 53:4-12
This reading is from the last of four passages in Isaiah that are often called “servant songs.” Christians are probably most familiar with this servant song. In light of Christian faith, the servant’s healing ministry and redemptive suffering are understood to be fulflled in the life and death of Christ.
Psalm: Psalm 91:9-16
They will call me, and I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble; I will rescue and honor them. (Ps. 91:15)
Second Reading: Hebrews 5:1-10
Using imagery from scripture and from Jewish worship practices, Jesus is presented as the great high priest who was obedient to God’s saving plan. Through his suffering and death he has become the source of eternal salvation.
Gospel: Mark 10:35-45
On the way to Jerusalem the disciples ask Jesus to grant them seats of honor. Jesus responds by announcing that he and his followers will “rule” through self-giving service.
Sovereign God, you turn your greatness into goodness for all the peoples on earth. Shape us into willing servants of your kingdom, and make us desire always and only your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.