Read Matthew 20:20-28

Whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve. Matthew 20:26-28 (NRSV)

Growing up, my brother and I had an ongoing dispute as to who was the favorite child. As the firstborn, I thought I had an edge. I’d been around the longest. But Steve, younger by four years and the only son and grandson, could rightly claim his own special place in our family.

My grandmother refused to succumb to our persistent efforts to have her choose which of us was her favorite grandchild. My brother and I would find a time when Gram wasn’t surrounded by rival grandchildren and ask, “Gram, who is your favorite?” My grandmother’s typical response, always offered with a smile, was, “You are my bestest and my worstest.”

Many years later, the memory of this silly bit of dialogue still causes my brother and me to smile. It was the perfect non-answer to an unfair question. It reminds me of a story from Matthew’s Gospel. The mother of James and John wanted Jesus to favor her sons in the coming kingdom. Jesus pointed out that her request had significant consequences.

So much of life is like this: We have a sense that we should be a favored child of God, perhaps at the expense of another. Gram had a way of reminding us just how much we were loved, not only by her but by God, who created all of us.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for loving all your children. Teach us to do the same. Amen.

Thought for the day: In God’s eyes, I am loved.

Ricki Aiello, Connecticut