A few months back, I noticed something very unusual on my drive home. As I was inching along in Atlanta traffic, I looked on the other side of the highway and didn’t see a single car. Exits were blocked off and police were yelling at people to get back in their cars. It didn’t take long to hear on the radio the reason for the delay. The President had just landed and was headed to a local event.
I couldn’t believe it. I knew the POTUS rolled deep and was a big deal but seeing firsthand the extent to which a city will go reminded me of our red carpet culture. If you matter by society’s standards, notoriety is all yours. If you’re famous, trumpets will sound when you arrive. From magazine covers and entourages to social platforms and media, we live in a country that elevates and overvalues status.
In our gospel passage for the week, Mark 7:24-37, we see a very different picture than that of our modern age. We see Jesus performing miraculous and supernatural things all the while wishing for anonymity. Jesus didn’t want anyone to know what he was doing. He took the objects of his miracles off in private and away from the crowds. All He cared about was being about His Father’s business. What a challenge…what a standard…what an opportunity.
I encourage us all this week to recognize that the Kingdom of God is rarely ever enacted with pomp and pageantry. It comes to us in subtle forms. It shows up in the mundane. It calls us to humility. May we rise to that clarion call.
If you have time this week re-read Mark 7:24-37 and be reminded that Jesus didn’t come with pomp and red carpet but came to serve and fulfill his Father’s will.