[Jesus said to them,] “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.” Mark 10:45
Service can be as simple as lending a hand. Listening without interrupting. Smiling a welcome. Allowing someone to help. Being present to someone who is grieving. Encouraging someone in a new endeavor. Bringing an item to the food pantry. Picking up litter. Sending a note to a friend. Visiting someone who is lonely. Thanking someone for being there.
We know how to serve. The goodness and compassion in our hearts show us the way.
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” Mark 10:23
When I suddenly went from having $13 in my savings account to having a lot more, I noticed I no longer felt ashamed at the bank, but stood straighter, looked the tellers in the eye, and felt more self-confident and self-reliant. This change made me wonder: Had I made money my god?
The kingdom of God is a place of vulnerability, not self-reliance. It is a place where I put my trust in the goodness of God, where I surrender my life and will to God’s gentle, compassionate care, and where I draw courage and confidence from God’s all-wise strength. The kingdom of God is where I find God’s kindness and love in the people I meet, where I offer help to those in need when I am able, and where I am not ashamed to ask for help when I am in need.
[Jesus said,] ““Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14
Children are infinitely precious, innocent, and fragile. To mentor and care for children so that they maintain healthy self-esteem and develop compassion and a sense of personal responsibility is the most difficult—and rewarding—work an adult could have.
Today I will remember that children are a gift to cherish and protect. I will let the children in my life teach me to be aware of the joy of unconditional love. I will find opportunities to help children in need.
“[Jesus] makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” Mark 7:37
From Jesus, I am learning to listen to others with patience, kindness, and acceptance. I am learning to hear distress, anxiety, and grief behind complaints, anger, and blame. I am learning to speak words of comfort, encouragement, and healing. I am learning the healing of silence and the necessity of using appropriate words at the right moment.
Today I will take a minute to listen to my heart and hear the love of God. I will speak with compassion to myself and all those I encounter.
Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” Mark 7:14-15
God made me in God’s own image of goodness and love. Today I will remain in God. I will refuse to be distracted and harried by the negativity, blame, manipulation, shame, and fear that bombard me from all sides. I will let my true nature of kindness, patience, encouragement, and comfort flow out of me to help heal our sorrowing world.
When [Jesus] disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34
A few of the things Jesus has taught me: – Love my neighbor. – Forgive those who hurt me. – Don’t judge myself or others. – Welcome strangers. – Notice people and be aware of and attentive to their needs. – Pray always.
Today I will practice one of the things Jesus has taught me by his word and example.
I don’t have to be offended by others’ opinions. I don’t have to envy others’ gifts and talents. I don’t have to be suspicious of others because of the way they look, the language they speak, or the religion they practice.
Today I will honor others instead of judging them.