Daily Devotional for August 12

August 12                                                           Mark 9:30-41


The disciples, keenly aware that Jesus has come to establish
a new reign, naturally assume that this reign will include a new
form of government in which the disciples will hold positions
as major leaders.


In his role as teacher Jesus attempts, by word and example,
to reshape the disciples' expectations of the coming era, and
to this end he contrasts the timeless human yearning for
upward mobility with the need for a certain amount of
self-effacement.


From Jesus' perspective, using power and position for the
purpose of getting ahead of others limits one's opportunities
for experiencing life in its fullness, that is, for encountering
life situations and other people in their fullest potential.


In contrast, by opening oneself to such encounters and seeking
to meet the needs of others, one makes oneself vulnerable
enough to allow the life experiences which the world has to
offer to touch one's very being. Only thus can a person
experience the wonder of living as a child does, and so become
enriched and refreshed through the mystery of life itself.
Upward mobility must be foresworn, but in compensation one
gains the grace-filled experience of finding new meaning in life.


            God of simplicity, keep me from being swept
         into the currents of upward mobility. Allow me to
      rest gently in your presence, savoring the beauty of
               creation, and to be as content as a child
                        on its mother's knee. Amen.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989

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