“Can you drink the cup I drink or receive the baptism I receive?” “We can,” they answered. …Whoever wants to be first among you will be the slave of all, for the Human One didn’t come to be served but rather to serve and to give His life to liberate many people.” (Mark 10:38b-39, 45, CEB)

The scriptures above made me think of a hymn that begins “Are you able said the Master, to be crucified with me?” The Refrain begins with “Lord, we are able.” However, in our ever-changing world, I wonder if we are really committed to the words of the rest of the Refrain. “Our spirits are Thine. Remold them, make us, like Thee, Divine. Thy guiding radiance above us shall be, a beacon to God, to love and loyalty”

The reality is that, we all would prefer the easy life of living in privilege, with position and power. That was not lost on me this week as I left a mundane encounter reflecting on this Gospel text.

In passing, I casually asked a lady, “How are you doing?” She responded with “Blessed and Highly favored.” I used to think that was a great response. I’m not so sure anymore; because I suspect many folks mistake it to mean life is going to be great with no bad days, my health is always going to great, lady luck will always smile on me and my future is so bright I’ve got wear shades. For them, Jesus’ words must be a rude awakening because “blessed and highly favored” to Jesus means being a servant and helping others even when you are not at your best. Galatians 6:2 says, “But helping others with your troubles, you obey the law of Christ.” (NCV) The law of Christ is “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That’s what we commit to with baptism and following Jesus.

Join us at Covenant this Sunday for a day of worship, baptisms by immersion and food. My sermon will be “Baptized: But Are You Willing to Serve?” based on Mark 10:35-45.