Daily Prayer 365

Day 264
Monday, May 22, 2023


The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. —Matthew 23:11–12

At no point is Jesus more revolutionary than in his ideas about what it means to be great. His saying, “The one that is greatest among you shall be your servant,” is so familiar that its radical contradiction of agelong ideas of what greatness means commonly escapes us…Another element in Jesus’ idea of greatness was humane usefulness. “Whosoever would be first among you, shall be servant of all” —that is the most revolutionary thing ever said. Observe that Jesus wants us to be great. He admired energy, enthusiasm, competence. He had no use for lazy, listless, negative folk, and in his parables he took efficient, energetic businessmen, farmers, housewives, and stewards as his examples. Far from denying this powerful drive in human nature to be somebody, he counted it one of our most valuable possessions, but he raised a new criterion by which to judge what it means to be somebody; serve most, help most! Usefulness—that is greatness, he said. Never treat that as a platitude, for no more radical idea ever emerged in our ethical and social history. —Harry Emerson Fosdick, Sermon: What Does It Really Mean to be Great?  

Give me energy, enthusiasm, and competence O God, so that I might follow Christ with a new humility, revolutionary and life-changing. Amen. —The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

May 27, 2023

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