Searching for Significance: Scripture and questions for Aug. 12

Mark 10:35-45
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?”And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant,and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

The sermon title is “Searching for Significance.” Finding significance seems to be an important life task. We want deep abiding relationships, meaningful work and to feel that our life is important. James and John, in the above text, want to be significant players in Jesus’ Kingdom. Often it is the fear of insignificance that moves us to attach ourselves to human beings and institutions that we hope will make us feel important.

Have you found significance? What does it look like for you? Have you ever been motivated by the fear of insignificance to do or be something you are not? Think about Jesus’ response to James and John: What are the possibilities for us as individuals, as a faith community?

Rev. Dr. Paula Northwood
Minister for Education

About PlymouthSpirit

Plymouth Congregational Church is a progressive faith community grounded in the Christian tradition. We are spiritual, loving, relevant and transforming.
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One Response to Searching for Significance: Scripture and questions for Aug. 12

  1. Alan D. Hughes says:

    Is finding significance an important life task?
    It does seem to be a life task which may be a life distraction.
    I do want to be in deep abiding relationships.
    Are deep abiding relationships how I find significance?
    Am I significant because you serve me?
    Am I significant because I serve you?
    Are we significant because we serve each other?
    The word significant seems cold and empty to me. It sounds academic.
    How do we serve each other?

    I think we serve each other by listening to each other. When someone truly listens to me I feel understood. It is a great feeling. My heart understands that their heart understands. I am not asking for agreement; agreement may or may not come later.
    Here is what Lilla Watson, a Brisbane, Australia-based Aboriginal activist and organizer had to say to social workers and community developers who had approached her community as service providers.

    “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

    What more needs to be understood???

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