In both yesterday’s and today’s Gospel from St. Matthew, Jesus talks of the need to serve rather than be served. Yesterday he criticized the scribes and Pharisees, who took seats of honor at banquets and synagogues and who expected to be greeted with honorific titles. In today’s Gospel, his comments are precipitated by “the mother of the sons of Zebedee,” who wishes to ensure that her boys get the choicest seats in the kingdom. In both cases, Jesus stresses the way of the world is not His way. Rather, in Jesus’ Kingdom, those who wish to be great must be humble and serve, just as “the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.”
Jesus models serving over and over again, especially in an incident we will reenact during our Holy Thursday service – washing the feet of his disciples. As I read this morning’s Gospel and thought about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, I thought of a Michael Card song that I think is a perfect one for Lent and for reflecting on what Jesus asks of us. The title is The Basin and the Towel. Rather than give you the lyrics, my invitation this morning is for you to listen to it. You can find a link to a video of Card performing the song here.