by Bruce Gilberd
(Based on Mark 9:30-37)
This telling incident (the disciples have been arguing among themselves about who was the greatest) reveals to us how, when we become obsessed with self-interest, we miss truths of global significance that are right in front of us.
Jesus needs to find a quiet place, hidden from the crowds, to teach his disciples and prepare them for what is going to happen. But they did not understand – because their minds were focussed on competing for importance, the lust for significance and greatness, for power.
Jesus knew this and addressed it directly: humble authentic servanthood is the key, he told and showed them.
Interestingly, this episode speaks into the state of our beloved planet, our home; and the motivation of those persons, corporates and nations who would be great, important and wealthy at the expense of future generations, who could inherit a wounded and declining planet.
The truly greatest amongst us are not those obsessed with power, status, wealth and profits, but those who personally and in coalitions of shared vision take action to sustain the planet’s life, well-being and inter-connectedness. These people, rather than the self-absorbed, that don’t see, or choose not to see, the great issue of our time, visible before their eyes, are the greatest amongst us. They don’t seek reward or fame. They fearlessly keep the issue before us, and invite action. Only so will sustainability become a reality for our planet.
[For a video on sustainability, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=rmQby7adocM&feature=youtu.be.]