Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
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Friday, August 14

Today’s Readings: Psalm 2; 2 Samuel 18:19-33; Mark 10:32-41; Acts 27:1-8; Psalm 31

Every time I begin to wonder what’s wrong with the church today, I have a visual that comes to mind. That visual has to do with the parking lot at the old United Methodist headquarters. When you pulled into that parking lot, you couldn’t help but notice that there was a special parking lot reserved – just outside the front door, mind you – for the bishop. Every time I glanced over and saw that spot reserved for the bishop, I would get incredibly irritated. And why is that? Was I jealous because I had to walk an extra 100 feet and the bishop didn’t? No. I got irritated because that image sent exactly the wrong image about the values that go along with serving as a leader in the Christian community. The parking spot gave the illusion that our leaders are “special” and needed to be treated as such. They couldn’t be bothered to be like the rest of us and have to walk a few extra feet to their car (or worse yet, have to deal with the possibility that all the spots in the lot would be taken and have to look for parking on the street). So much for the notion of servant leadership. In many ways, this practice of reserving a cushy parking spot for one of the disciples reminds me of the desire James and John had in their hearts at the beginning of today’s Gospel lesson. They wanted to be given a special “parking” spot up in the great hereafter – a spot worthy of someone like them. Jesus answer was clever. He didn’t get all angry and self-righteous about the request as I’m prone to do. Rather, he asked a simple question to see if they were “qualified” for such a privilege: “Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink, of being baptized in the baptism I’m about to be plunged into?” That question alone helped diffuse the controversy. The next time you find yourself in a spot where you start feeling a little special and extra deserving, remember that question. It might help bring your head back from the clouds and ground it firmly on earth. Til next time…

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