Growing up I wanted to be great. For a while I wanted to be a great professional dog handler. (My poor dog never knew exactly what hit him!) Then I wanted to be a great teacher – in part because of great teachers I had in 4th and 6th grade. That one stuck around for a long time. But alongside that came the dream of being a great singer…because I wanted to sing in a choir at the college level. (Achieved that one!) But I also had dreams of being a big time Christian singer like, yes, Amy Grant.
In the midst of all that I wanted to be a great friend and have a great time and not miss out on anything…great!!! And I have some fantastic friendships, have had some incredible experiences, but “wanting great” also led me to some places I’d rather not have gone, looking back. I wanted to be great because people who are great – are, well, great! People know them, seek them out, want to be like them. And that’s who I wanted to be. To be honest, some days it’s still what I want to be.
But greatness in the eyes of Jesus is something totally different.
“If anyone would come after, they must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” – Jesus in Luke 9:23
Greatness for Jesus is being willingness to be the least. And not just willingness, but choosing the position of the least, speaking out for the least, being with the least, praying, loving, caring for the least. That’s true greatness.
For the next few weeks we are going to look at the book of Luke – the gospel that most deeply portrays Jesus’ coming to the least…the outsiders, the marginalized, the nobodies. I invite you to join us. There will be a reading schedule in the bulletin and up online to help us all read the book of Luke together. I invite you into this adventure, because I believe as we seek Jesus’ story and his words, we will find in the midst a place for ourselves.
And just perhaps…in the least we will find greatness…Jesus style. Come, be a nobody who becomes somebody in the eyes of Jesus! – Pastor Jane Jebsen