Monday, July 7, 2008

Who is the greatest among us?

Jesus said, "The greatest among you will be your servant."
-- Matthew 23:11

Martin Luther King was fond of repeating that saying from Jesus, found in the Gospel of Matthew. Dr. King would say, over and over, that all of us can be great because all of us can serve. ALL of us can be great, because ALL of us can serve.

This saying from Jesus comes again to us in this morning's Daily Office readings. As I prepare to depart for a new calling with a new people I pray that I will find a deeper way to serve that will make sense, will resonate in my new place with my new people. And I pray I all of us, as a people gathered together at Prayer and at the Table, will hear a deeper call to greater service to our community and in the world. 

I pray we will grow and learn together how to be great by our being servants especially to the lost and forgotten, the sick and hurting.

I am also mindful that the bishops of the Anglican Communion are gathering this week at Canterbury for the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference. They will come from every corner of the earth, from every race, men and women, liberals and conservatives, Angl0-Catholics and Evangelicals. Much will be made of their "bonds of affection," but in all candor, some intensely dislike and distrust each other.  More eyes are on this conference than ever before in history, not just from within our communion but throughout the world. I dare say more prayers are carrying them than at any time in history. Let us join in those prayers that our bishops -- all of our bishops -- will find a way to greatness by finding a deeper way to serve all of God's children. And may they find a way to listen to the Risen Christ speaking through each other.


Pam said...

Amen! Truly!

Betsy said...

Jim and Lori,

I was baptized in the Chapel of St. Paul's on Palm Sunday, 1948. St. Paul's has always been my home. During self-imposed wanderings in the desert, I always knew that I could come home.

Those who love us abide with us and are there for us when we return. This parish is profoundly in love with God and the call to be servants for one another.

This parish is not afraid of the deep pain that each of us knows from time to time. We minister to one another in pastoral service.

As you minister to us, we also minister to you. St. Paul's is pretty good at not putting our priests on a pedestal :-) The offering of their humanity by many of our previous and current clergy balances the equation. We recognize that we are a kingdom of priests. Remember that as you enter our vibrant parish. We will honor you and love you into our community.

I welcome you both with joy and open arms. Betsy

The Rev. James Richardson said...

Thanks Pam and Betsy!
See you soon!
-- Jim