We have all met people who walk around with an obvious attitude of entitlement. Their demeanor is something along the lines of: I deserve this, get it for me. This is a question about expectations and attitude.
Jesus tells the apostles for the third time today about his approaching Passion, and James and John take the opportunity to ask for special treatment once Jesus "comes into his glory." The other disciples get pissed-off at the brothers and Jesus than proceeds to sum up the entirety of the Gospel of Mark when he makes his thesis statement: whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.
We see Jesus pointing us to a different understanding of how we operate in the world. He is telling us to adopt a different attitude than the one that we see all around us. But how do we begin to adopt this kind of approach to life? There are some very simple things we can do that will not only change our interaction with the world, but the life and attitude of those we meet on the way. Thank the waiter and the bus-person at a restaurant for their service (smile and say thanks every time your water glass is filled). Smile and say hi to the bus-driver or the crossing guard or the check-out person at the store you wander into, no matter what their attitude or demeanor may be. Volunteer your time at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter, smiling and greeting those who are forgotten. Knock on an elderly neighbor's door and say hello, offering to pick something up at the store for them.
Simple things can change us, and those we interact with on a daily basis.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.