Read Mark 9:33-35
33 After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” 34 But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” (NLT)
A couple of times each year we read of people getting recognised through the granting of honours. Some are well-known and we are aware of their accomplishments. Others are obscure. Someone has been rewarded for countless hours community work in some place many people have never heard of. Two sorts of greatness: one very much in the public eye, the other known only to a few.
There is yet another sort of greatness which goes nowhere near official recognition. Jesus seems particularly interested in this sort. He calls it service. He recognises it as true greatness but others may not. So many aspire to do great things, but in the eyes of God perhaps there are no great things to be done, but only things done with great love.
Can we so change our mindset that we begin to see any and every thing we do or say as great in this sense? The seemingly casual words, the apparently minor act, can change someone’s life. We need to be careful not to delude ourselves into thinking that God is calling us to do mighty things which will hit the headlines. He is calling us to serve him and others in all sorts of ways that he calls great but that we may call trivial.
Let’s see all we do or say as having the potential to extend God’s rule and so make life better. We may never make the honours lists, but we will be honouring the God who alone defines true greatness.