Pastor's Corner: Greatness, happiness, holiness

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mark 9:30-37

A Religious Studies class was studying how religion interacts with culture and how faithful people deal with a society that counters religious beliefs. A fictional book (My Name is Asher Lev) about a young orthodox Jewish man was assigned to the class. The book told of the man's struggle as he developed his skill as an artist but grew farther from his family and his faith.

During the course the students were asked a question: do you think Asher would choose greatness or happiness? Would he seek happiness with all his being or greatness? The answer turned out to be greatness which brought no happiness for him, he was miserable. This question stuck with the students, greatness or happiness, and soon they were asking each other what they would choose. A large number of the students answered greatness, in the hopes that happiness might follow.

I wonder now if greatness in a chosen vocation or personal happiness should really be sought after goals. Perhaps we should be seeking something holiness.

Jesus' disciples had to deal with this issue as well. They weren't content simply being in the presence of the Savior. They wanted a little something for themselves, to be greater than everyone else. Here Jesus was telling them something really important but they are too busy hoping for their own gain and glory to hear Jesus. Jesus points out the absurdity of wanting to be great, first, best by earthly standards. "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.

What are you actively seeking after: greatness, happiness, holiness?

How to work toward holiness (develop Holy Habits)

* Bible Study (daily personal and regular group study)

* Prayer (daily personal and regular group prayer)

* Serving Christ by serving others (regularly reaching out to help others; visiting the sick and imprisoned; feeding the hungry, etc.)