The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, October 30, 2020 comes to us from Ricki Aiello of Connecticut
Matthew 20:20- 28 20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 21 “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” 22 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. 23 Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” 24 When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
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 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 Focus: Siblings
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
As an only child, I didn’t experience much of what Ricki Aiello shares in this reflection. Still it reminds me of the cheer we share when we open Children’s Moment:
“God Loves Me All the Time;
All the time, God Loves Me”