Faith Daily | 17 August 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p572
you have given your only Son
to be for us both a sacrifice for sin
and also an example of godly life:
give us grace that we may always thankfully receive
the benefits of his sacrifice,
and also daily endeavour
to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 19: 23-30
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ 25When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ 26But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.’
27 Then Peter said in reply, ‘Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?’ 28Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. 30But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Peter Galbraith
Today’s passage concludes the story of the rich young man, and the words of Jesus that followed clearly hit home to His listeners. The words of Peter, seemingly on behalf of others as well, suggested an expectation of some material reward for what had been given up. In His response Jesus reinforces His message to the young man - but perhaps the summarising punch line is in verse 30 “many who are first will be last, and the last will be first”
The desire to be first, whether through the power and privilege of wealth or through some other means seems to have been as alive then as it is today. We recall the request made by the mother of James and John for her sons to be given privileged positions in the Kingdom of God.
In today’s world being ‘first’ in some way is often taken as essential to being considered successful. In my former line of work attaining promotion required individuals to demonstrate that they were more worthy than their colleagues seeking similar recognition. Promoting self, too often involved diminishing others.
Nothing is further from the values and actions that Jesus sought his followers to practise. In taking the humble part Jesus Himself set the example.
Philippians 2: 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And Jesus specifically asked His followers to do likewise.
Luke 14: 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; 11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
Paul wrote in a similar vein in Philippians 2:3 “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.”
And by way of practical example in John 3.30, John the Baptist stepped back into the shadows in saying of Jesus “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
What an inspiring challenge to leave faith communities through the ages.
FINAL PRAYER: – From Walking the Edges David Adam
You have called me by name
In the night, across the years;
You have called my name,
in my laughter and my tears.
The words are never quite the same,
seeking out my dulled ears;
wanting me to rise and wake,
to cast away my doubts and fears.
Your love is there for me to take;
More than this, I should know,
when the day is turned to night,
You are there, wherever I go,
my love, calling me to light.
Calling me at every breath,
calling me to rise from death.