TEXTS: MARK 10:35-40, MATHEW 20:20-23
Let us talk about the sitting arrangement in this hall. Although there may not be a defined pattern in all, there is a peculiarity.Everyone in this hall has a seat, more so, every worker, except the ushers and security men. Notice the preacher, elders, Registrars, Secretaries, Technical Units, etc. Supposing the acceptable arrangement was “sit according to what you do”, where would you be sitting now?
What about those who are known for their seats? Their absence from that is an indication of their absence from church. What about me? Do I have a peculiar seat? Do I merit any other seat? What about you? What about adjusting for another person on the same bench till you eventually lose your seat?What about the discomfort of having to share a small sitting space with another? What about the luxury of these padded chairs!What about those whose seats are permanently at the back? What about those who must maintain their seats whether they are early or late?What about those who would lose their seats if they came a minute late?What about those who abuse their seats by words or deeds, as such they are forced to vacate?
Of positions and the struggle to remain relevant; Think politicians. Think civil servants. Think business persons. Think sibling rivalry. Think promotions in school or workplaces! Isn’t there something about your position and your seat?
The Holy Scriptures reveal that the disciples knew the importance of seats, God made plans and provisions for seats, therefore, you and I have to think of how, when, where we shall sit.
ANALYSIS: Mark 10:35-40 and Matthew 20: 20-23
The two brothers, James and John, had carefully planned their reward for service, so they began a campaign in earnest to secure better seats in the Kingdom (which they must’ve thought was earthly). Mathew’s account informs that they went with their mother (god-mother/father) to consult Jesus regarding their positions in the Kingdom. They wanted to lobby, they needed to be coded, connected, loyal, as well as ‘push a few buttons’ in order to succeed.
They wanted the best positions in Christ’s government;a place of rest, a position of authority, a secure spot. But what they did not understand was “the promise was for everyone that obeys”. Mat 19:28-the promise of seats.Christ said “there are many mansions in the father’s house, he didn’t mention who gets to sit/live right next to him. So Christ asked them, if they were capable of drinking of the same cup (which implied passing through the persecution and eventual gruesome death) and they affirmed, presupposing that they were determined to reign with Christ and possibly occupy a position higher than the other disciples.Note:There was PRIDE in their request and there was LUST in their demand. We do not know where James and John are now, whether their consultation paid off or not, but we can deduce from their story that a seat with Christ is as important as Life itself. That a seat here implies;
- A Place of responsibility/service
- A Position of authority
- A place of rest and security
When seen as a place of responsibility, service, duty or work – the ministers, elders and deacons take up their seats to lead/feed the flock. Others are called to do several other works for the edification of the people, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry.
When seen as a position of Authority – Christ is at God’s right hand. Here, one can change things, make or destroy. The one who sits there is kept by God just as God said to Christ, sit here at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.
A SERMON BY: ANYANYA BASSEY
DATE: SUNDAY, 30TH JULY 2017