Mark 10:40

but as to a seat at my right or at my left – that is not mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

honor is not earned
there is no course work
authorizing post-name letters
proclaiming privilege

honor simply is lived
day in and day out
surrounded by opportunity
to live a simple honor

that which I get
is that which I offer
for others we share
with others we feast

Positioning within a partnership is not something that can be given. With agency appropriate to each by gift and circumstance, the question is: “What is grasped and carried through?”

To ask for a special position (or assume its due) is an inappropriate short-cut. Like helping a butterfly to emerge without its own work, being given privilege always weakens.

The preparation here is not in the arena of predestination. We can stop dreaming that it is ourself for whom this particular bell tolls.

There is no preparation we can do to fall into a prepared slot that won’t distract us from all that is needed in the moment.

Swanson233 reflects on this Peter Principle gap:

This scene is loaded with ritual references: rituals of drinking, rituals of washing, rituals of entry into glory. The rituals of drinking and washing sound as if Jesus expects them to be danced out in time and space to which we have access. The disciples appear to be far more interested in the rituals of entry into glory and sitting on Jesus’ right and left. James and John demand places of honor in a place discontinuous with any place we can go. The other disciples are angry because they share the same naïve view of this place. It would be worth asking whether and to what extent religious wrath is rooted in naïve notions of rituals of entry into places no one can go.

Swanson goes on to imagine the disciples are fantasizing about revolutionary battle in which they emerge unscathed and are ready to rule. He likens this to draftees, “green soldiers”, who know nothing about the reality of battle and the scars it leaves on everyone up and down the supply line that has funneled a few to the front. He reviews other revolutions and the lack of leadership that is developed in all but a few (Nicaragua and South Africa come to mind when retribution was not the order of the day).

Let the chips of hospitality and service fall where they will.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *