Friday, September 21, 2012

Pentecost 17b - Mark 9:30-37

Mark 9:30-37

On Christmas Eve 1988 I worshipped at the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool, England. I sat somewhere in the middle of what is the second longest cathedral in the world that houses the largest pipe organ in the United Kingdom. The organ lived up to its reputation while over a thousand voices sang “O Come All Ye Faithful” and choirs and cantors and canons processed down the center aisle with considerable pomp and circumstance. At the very end of the liturgical parade, resplendent in garments of gold and crowned with jeweled miter while leaning on an ornate shepherd’s crook, the bishop of Liverpool walked with a small child in his arms. I don’t mean to speak poorly of the church, and truth is December 24, 1988 might be my favorite Christmas Eve ever, but I’m guessing the bishop of Liverpool carrying a borrowed baby is not what Jesus meant by “whoever wants to be first must be last…” I’m just saying. 

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