Becoming the greatest – Matthew 20:25-27

Take your pick

The church is a strange institution. It seems to be caught between viewing its clergy as having a special calling, and just people pursuing a career much the same as anyone else. There’s a structure with a hierarchy, and a sort of natural path of progression (dare I say career path), but it’s not the done thing to aspire to promotion, let alone campaign for it. This is never clearer than when there’s a vacancy in Canterbury – virtually every Diocesan in the country will be hoping he (of course, they’re all men) gets the job, often working hard to subtly improve his chances, but will be trying equally hard to avoid admitting that fact.

So what would their religion’s founder suggest they should do?

Jesus called them together, and said “You know that the rulers of the gentiles lord it over them, and their superiors exercise their authority over them. But not with you. Instead, any of you that wishes to be great must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.

“And he should make sure his name’s in the frame by supplying regular quotes and articles for the Jerusalem Gazette, and getting some friends to talk him up as a leading candidate. A few judicious whispers in the right ear about the sort of person who should be greatest wouldn’t go amiss, either. Ideally, if you knew anyone who was prepared to hint at failings in some of the other candidates, that would be perfect.

“Obviously, that all sounds a bit manipulative, but let he who is without spin cast the first stone.”

Photo by Sarah Jane, used under Attribution License

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About Recovering Agnostic

I'm Christian by upbringing, agnostic by belief, cynical by temperament, broadly scientific in approach, and looking for answers. My main interest at the moment is in turning my current disengaged shrug into at least a working hypothesis.

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