The Rhine River runs through all of Alsace. It originates in Switzerland with the melting snow of the Alps. And it terminates in the North Sea of the Netherlands. All along its banks can be found fairy tale castles and vineyards. What is particular about this river is its northern flow. We live in southern Alsace. But it is called, “Haut Rhin” or Upper Alsace. The Northern part of Alsace is called, “Bas Rhin” or Lower Alsace. All of this confusion is due to the direction of the river’s flow. I always have to think twice as it all just seems backwards to me!
Our verse for today can seem a bit backwards as well! Jesus is speaking to the disciples who had just been arguing among themselves as to which of them was the greatest. He tells them that true greatness comes from service to others. This is completely opposed to what one would normally think.
When I think of people considered “great” I usually think of those who have enormous influence and who are visible. Normally, a position of power and fame along with wealth is all that would be required to achieve greatness. Jesus turns it all around. Someone who serves others does not necessarily have any of those advantages. Yet, in God’s kingdom the one who takes a lowly position of service is the one who is great.
I am not to follow the “flow” of this world’s values. It may seem backwards, but God’s direction for greatness is the only one that matters. Change my thinking, Lord. Make me a willing servant today.