URC Daily Devotions Thursday, 22 February 2024

Thursday, 22 February 2024
St Mark 9: 33 – 37

Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the way?’ But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, ‘Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.’ Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’


Many motorcycle clubs, such as the Hells Angels, maintain a road discipline that reinforces an equally rigid hierarchy. The club president rides at the top of the pack, followed by the vice president, other high-ranking members, then followed by rank and file club members and prospects. Woe betide any lower-ranking club member who overtakes a senior member.

I have recently joined a Christian motorcycle club which abides by such road rules. Our club must be seen to be respecting the traditions and values of the scene if we are to be taken seriously.  As a new prospective member I usually ride towards the rear of the pack. However, as this is a Christian club, we try to do things differently. Instead of reinforcing hierarchy, the hierarchy emphasises servanthood.  You will find our club President mucking in the same way that Prospects are expected to serve.

We are all familiar with hierarchical structures. We see them at work, in government, and (alas) within our churches.  Like it or not, we will find ourselves towards the front or the rear of the pack.

This is why Jesus’ words are so radical. In the kin-dom of God we all play on a level playing field. We’re all born falling short of God’s glory (Rom 3.23), yet we all have equal access to God’s grace and forgiveness.  Jesus encourages us to take this spiritual reality back into our hierarchical world.

So if we start to get above our station, be aware that you might have lost sight of your identity as a child of God. But if you find yourself at the bottom of the pile, for what it’s worth, please find encouragement in the fact that the Creator of the Universe sides with the outsider and the outcast. May his love for you lift you above the clouds.


Thank you, Jesus, that you left the five-star accommodation of heaven 
to slum it with the best of us on earth.
Please show us how to walk and talk,
and how to live and serve.
Lord, please keeping our feet grounded in humility
but may our hearts and minds soar above the clouds
rubbing shoulders with the angels.  Amen.


Today’s writer

The Rev’d Daniel Harris, Community Minister with the Rochdale, Bury and North Manchester Missional Partnership.  Prospect member of the Longriders Christian Motorcycle Club.


New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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