Year B Proper 24 Mark 10 2012
The Three Poison Pills of Position, Prestige, and Power
During the American Revolution a man in civilian clothes rode past a group of soldiers repairing a small defensive barrier. Their leader was shouting instructions, but making no attempt to help them. Asked why by the rider, he retorted with great dignity, "Sir, I am a corporal!" The stranger apologized, dismounted, and proceeded to help the exhausted soldiers. The job done, he turned to the corporal and said, "Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander-in-chief, and I will come and help you again." With that George Washington got back on horse and rode off.
Where did Washington learn such leadership skills? I have no doubt he learned them here. In these words of Jesus: Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant. The young corporal had these words modeled to him from the man at the top. The disciples, likewise, receive from their leader a picture of servant hood.
And it is high time they start imitating their leader...
Not So With You
How many of us here this morning were born BC? By "BC" I mean "Before Cell-phones?" The first cell phone was invented in 1973 by Martin Cooper. My kids were born AC, but I was born BC. In a world of 7 billion people, there are now 5 billion cell phone subscriptions. Pretty amazing for something under 40 years old.
In the last forty years the cyber-cellular age has changed the way we do business, the way we get our education, the way we socialize. The world has never been so closely connected, and there has never been this much immediately accessible information as there is with our new online universe. Each cell phone is almost the equivalent of having the Library of Congress in our hands.
Unfortunately all that easily accessed info has also led to an epidemic of a new kind of crime — identity theft. With just a few bits of our personal information, an online burglar can electronically hijack anyone’s identity and drain bank accounts, take out huge loans, run up mountains of credit card debt. Once your identity is stolen your name is no longer your own. No matter your name, your name is mud...